It’s official, Virgin Mobile has announced that beginning June 29th it will start selling pre-paid no-contract iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S at a basic rate of $30 per month. This announcement came quickly following the news of Cricket Wireless offering no-contract iPhones.
Virgin Mobile USA will sell the basic iPhone 4 model starting at $549, with a monthly service fee of $30 per month. The iPhone 4S, with 16 gigabytes of memory, will sell for $649. Since these are not subsidized phones, customers will have to pay for theses non-contract phones upfront.
Virgin’s monthly Beyond Talk plans consist of 300 minutes of talk time. For $40 per month customers will get 1200 talk time minutes; and unlimited talk time for $50 per month. All three plans include unlimited messaging and unlimited 3G Data. Rates vary in other countries, such as Australia. Customers can save $5 per month by setting up an automatic monthly payment plan with their credit or debit card.
While subsidized iPhones under the Sprint mainland plan cost $99 (iPhone 4) and $199 (iPhone 4S), Virgin Mobile pre-paid plans don’t lock customers into a 2-year contract. The latter is possibly a better deal especially for users who like to upgrade their iPhone more frequently than the two-year contract allows. Note also, Sprint is the mobile service provider for Mobile Virgin in the US, so essentially with either pre-paid or subsidized plan, you’re using the same company.
If you can afford to pay the upfront cost of a non-subsidized iPhone, according to CultOfMac.com, you could save “over $1000 over the course of two years on the Virgin Mobile plan compared to AT&T, Verizon or Sprint’s subsided plans”. See this page for a comparison chart.
Will you be getting a no-contract iPhone? Why/Why not?