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Virgin Mobile USA is moving to an iPhone-only business model beginning June 27, and to entice customers to switch it's offering an entire year's worth of unlimited talk, text, and data for $1.

Called the "Inner Circle," the unlimited plan is available until July 31, and only to customers who purchase a new iPhone and transfer their phone number to an Inner Circle plan. After their first year on the plan, users will switch over to the normal $50/month price tag.

virgin-mobile-iphone.jpg

There's iPhone. And then there's everything else. At Virgin Mobile, we're teaming with Apple to offer you nothing but the world's most popular phone. Because life in the Inner Circle is about living big, expanding your horizons and pursuing your passions. And it starts with an iPhone you'll adore. Pre-order your iPhone now, or head to an Apple Retail Store on June 27th to be one of the first members of the Virgin Mobile Inner Circle!
Currently, Virgin Mobile offers a variety of iPhones in all storage capacities, including the iPhone SE (32GB for $279.00), iPhone 7 (64GB for $749.99), iPhone 7 Plus (256GB for $969.99), and others. The iPhones are up for pre-order on the Inner Circle plan today, and will ship on June 27, with the plan going into effect upon the iPhone's activation.

The unlimited Inner Circle plan does have restrictions related to data throttling, becoming "deprioritized" in some areas after exceeding a certain data cap, and even risking service termination after specific amounts of off-network roaming are reached. Per the fine print on Virgin Mobile's website:
- Plans are domestic only and include unlimited data, talk, text, 800 domestic voice roaming minutes and 100MB domestic data roaming.

- Customers who use more than 23GB of data during billing cycle will be deprioritized during times and places where the network is constrained.

- To improve data experience for the majority of users, throughput may be limited, varied or reduced on the network. Virgin Mobile may terminate service if off-network roaming use in a month exceeds: (1) 800 mins or a majority of mins.; or (2) 100MB or a majority of KB.
For an additional $5/month users can gain unlimited calls to Mexico and Canada, and unlimited worldwide texting. A $10/month bundle includes everything in the $5/month tier with unlimited calls to landlines in 70+ countries, 200 minutes to "select mobiles" in 200+ countries, and reduced per-minute rates to over 200 locations. A full list of countries and details on the international plans can be found here.

Check out Virgin Mobile's website for information about iPhone protection plans, member benefits, and more.

Article Link: Virgin Mobile USA Goes 'Exclusively iPhone' With Unlimited Plan Priced at $1 for First Year
 

ecschwarz

macrumors 65816
Jun 28, 2010
1,359
293
Sprint's two prepaid brands (Boost and Virgin) always seemed redundant to me, so it's nice to see them actually doing something. I'm sure some anti-iPhone folks will hate this, and I'm curious if Boost is going to remain the general-purpose prepaid brand and Virgin Mobile will be a little side project (will current Virgin customers with other phones eventually be converted to Boost?)

It's real easy to bash their network and how desperate Sprint as a whole feels right now, but I've got to give them credit for trying something new…sort of reminds me of T-Mobile's early uncarrier events.
 
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Appurushido

macrumors 6502
Sep 28, 2012
268
264
Seems like some hidden fee will arise when this program eventually launches. It's too good to be true.
 
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jent

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2010
822
268
Seems like some hidden fee will arise when this program eventually launches. It's too good to be true.
You have to buy a phone from them, and it requires auto-pay, so they profit off the phone and a lot of people will get charged on month 13 if they're not intent on porting out and set reminders to do so before passing the one-year mark.
 
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Derekuda

macrumors 6502
Oct 2, 2004
326
1,147
But even worse than Sprint's network is being at the bottom of it.
What does that even mean? Is that a knock at prepaid/MVNO's supposedly being "de-prioritized"? I really don't believe any of that's true. Even if it was true, does anyone really care about the speed of your download? I've been trying out Mint Sim lately which is an MVNO that runs on T-Mobile and it runs just fine. I streamed all of E3's press conferences on it and it never skipped a beat. (and this is out here in rual Idaho).
I really think all that "priority" speak is just meaningless marking talk to get you to spend top dollar.
 
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CarlJ

macrumors 603
Feb 23, 2004
5,515
9,675
San Diego, CA, USA
Ten years to go from, "one carrier has an exclusive to carry the iPhone," to, "one carrier is exclusively carrying the iPhone."

AT&T (née Cingular) was the only one willing to make a deal to carry it at all. Look how far we've come.
 
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Bawstun

macrumors 68000
Jun 25, 2009
1,893
1,775
What does that even mean? Is that a knock at prepaid/MVNO's supposedly being "de-prioritized"? I really don't believe any of that's true. Even if it was true, does anyone really care about the speed of your download? I've been trying out Mint Sim lately which is an MVNO that runs on T-Mobile and it runs just fine. I streamed all of E3's press conferences on it and it never skipped a beat. (and this is out here in rual Idaho).
I really think all that "priority" speak is just meaningless marking talk to get you to spend top dollar.

Mhmmmmm. There are people who feel 'shamed' if they don't have ATT/Verizon/T-Mobile, etc. as if a 'name-brand' carrier means something. It doesn't. Prepaid carriers run off the same towers, receive excellent download speeds and connectivity, and are generally less than half the cost of all plans with the big guys. Some people see this, some don't. I vote with my wallet, and I just don't see a good reason to stick with the big guys when I can get the same for less. I don't need some false appearance of 'status' for my phone provider. It just has to work.
 
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macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,674
16,151
Central U.S.
next year news will be... Apple is buying Virgin Mobile USA to become the next "Google FI" network running exclusively on iPhones.
I'd love to have an Apple carrier, and maybe Apple could turn Sprint around, since they operate Virgin Mobile. But I feel like that would be a pretty big conflict of interest for other carriers that have the iPhone. Could they legally block the iPhone from accessing their network? Slippery slope.

Anyway, to reiterate what others have said, this is still Sprint so it's still crap. But $1 is $1, so it could be a decent back up phone. But I'm from KC, and Sprint is headquartered in KC, and even in KC everyone I've ever known with Sprint hates it and moved on years ago. Not sure if it's still the case now, but you'd even drop calls when next to the Sprint campus. It's pathetic.
 
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bwintx

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2002
352
289
Mhmmmmm. There are people who feel 'shamed' if they don't have ATT/Verizon/T-Mobile, etc. as if a 'name-brand' carrier means something. It doesn't. Prepaid carriers run off the same towers, receive excellent download speeds and connectivity, and are generally less than half the cost of all plans with the big guys. Some people see this, some don't. I vote with my wallet, and I just don't see a good reason to stick with the big guys when I can get the same for less. I don't need some false appearance of 'status' for my phone provider. It just has to work.

"If you aren't using one of the big brands, you may not get top speeds. For instance, Verizon throttles other brands' customers to 5Mbps." -- http://www.pcmag.com/article/354110/fastest-mobile-networks-2017 (June 19, 2017).
 
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Bryan Bowler

macrumors 68040
Sep 27, 2008
3,891
3,939
This is on Sprint’s network? They could offer to pay me $50 a month to get on this plan and I would tell them to pound sand.
 
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Bawstun

macrumors 68000
Jun 25, 2009
1,893
1,775
"If you aren't using one of the big brands, you may not get top speeds. For instance, Verizon throttles other brands' customers to 5Mbps." -- http://www.pcmag.com/article/354110/fastest-mobile-networks-2017 (June 19, 2017).

Fake news, fear tactics. I regularly stream HQ Netflix off my devices and have never had interruptions or problems - and I've used Straight Talk, Cricket, and Metro PCS in the past. I regularly consume over 25GB monthly and have never experienced 'deprioritization' either. 5mbps if true, is still much more than you'd ever need for browsing, music, app download etc.
 
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name99

macrumors 65816
Jun 21, 2004
1,129
778
What's truly amazing is that Virgin (or ANY telco) still thinks voice calling to other countries is some sort of magic that people should pay extra for...
How about your offer DATA ROAMING in foreign countries, not 18th C technology like voice calls to other countries?

There's a reason companies like Amazon and Google keep expanding while these other loser companies keep contracting. While Virgin is excitedly telling us how you can now call people by phone in Taiwan --- imagine that! --- Google understands that things like FaceTime, Hangouts, and Skype are real, and, through Project Fi, is offering something actually USEFUL, ie data roaming in Taiwan (and other countries).
 
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Jmausmuc

macrumors 6502a
Oct 13, 2014
774
1,337
What does that even mean? Is that a knock at prepaid/MVNO's supposedly being "de-prioritized"? I really don't believe any of that's true. Even if it was true, does anyone really care about the speed of your download? I've been trying out Mint Sim lately which is an MVNO that runs on T-Mobile and it runs just fine. I streamed all of E3's press conferences on it and it never skipped a beat. (and this is out here in rual Idaho).
I really think all that "priority" speak is just meaningless marking talk to get you to spend top dollar.

Data priorization only applies if the network is congested. That frequently happens in major cities but probably not as frequently in rural Idaho.
 
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Bawstun

macrumors 68000
Jun 25, 2009
1,893
1,775
I will admit that it has been many years since I've used Sprint or VM. I am seriously considering this plan, though.

$50 x 12 = $600.

For the cost of an iPhone, you basically have free unlimited phone service for one year. This really might be too good of a deal to pass up. And a 14-day return policy, in case I find that their service sucks. Decisions, decisions...
 
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Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,394
Cute idea but as long as its on Sprint's network then no thank you. I wish T-mobile would hurry up and buy Sprint and re-purpose their towers.

Adding crap to crap just gets you more crap. TMob has decent coverage geographically. Their problem is that the nature of the bands they use don't have good penetration inside buildings. Maybe they'll do better with 5G but I can't hold out that long. Waiting until the iPhone 8 is almost too long. I was hoping they had improved from the 3G days, but nope.
 
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