Sprint’s Next Big Mistake? Virgin Mobile Becomes A Provider For iPhones Only
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Sprint announced today that it has re-re-launched Virgin Mobile. That's not a typo there, the brand was somewhat re-launched a few months ago with the announcement of Data Love plans. Sprint and Virgin Mobile have since decided to scrap the Data Love plans in favor of a new plan called the "Inner Circle."
The Inner Circle plan would be launching with one heck of a promotion, if it weren't for the fact that Sprint itself recently launched a similar but arguably better promotion. Those who elect to transfer over to Virgin Mobile by
7/31/17 8/31/2017 can get one year of unlimited talk, text and LTE data for just $1 with the purchase of an iPhone. After the one year is up, subscribers would pay $50/month for service plus taxes and fees. Without the promotion, subscribers get 6 months of service for $1 with the purchase of an iPhone.
So why all this talk and mention of iPhones? For some reason, Virgin Mobile has decided that it only wants to potentially serve roughly 1/2 the population as Virgin Mobile is now an iPhone only provider. That's right, you can now only get service with Virgin Mobile if you purchase an iPhone from the company. No Androids allowed. No bring your own iPhone allowed! (Update: Virgin Mobile now allows you to bring your own iPhone.)
I'm not quite sure what the benefit is to a wireless company limiting its revenue stream to just one device, although customer support representatives should at least have an easier job.
In addition to having unlimited talk, text and data, the Inner Circle plan also includes 800 domestic voice roaming minutes, and 100 MB of domestic data roaming, which are nice perks. However, Virgin Mobile's terms and conditions state that those who exceed the roaming allotments may find their service terminated at any time.
The Inner Circle plan will also include a data prioritization policy. Those that consume more than 23 GB of data in a month may find that their data speeds get temporarily slowed down during times of heavy network congestion until their next billing cycle.
| See also: a comparison of all available unlimited LTE data plans
For a limited time, Virgin Mobile will also be offering a few other perks to its customers which include the following:
- A round-trip companion ticket to the United Kingdom on Virgin Atlantic
- One night’s stay at Virgin Hotels
- $170 savings on an introductory offer to Virgin Wines club
- Up to 20-percent off flights on Virgin America
- 20-percent off on the Virgin Sport San Francisco Festival of Fitness (Oct. 13-15)
Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group had a few words to say about the new Virgin Mobile and its perks:
Virgin has always looked to shake things up and challenge the status quo in any sector we go into.... Mobile is no exception and with Virgin Mobile USA, we’ve now worked with Apple to create a compelling offer for our new Inner Circle plan. Simply put, when you buy an iPhone you will get the highest quality device and service plus access to an array of Virgin experiences and offers with our group of companies. I’m excited to share that we are changing the way you experience mobile.”
At launch, interested parties will be able to purchase one of several iPhones when they signup for service with Virgin Mobile and they include the following:
- iPhone 6 starting at $319.00
- iPhone 6s starting at $549.99
- iPhone 6s Plus starting at $649.99
- iPhone SE starting at $279
- iPhone 7 starting at $649.99
- iPhone 7 Plus starting at $669.99
Later in the year the Sprint based provider will also begin to offer used iPhones.
The re-re-launch of Virgin Mobile officially takes place on June 27th, when the Inner Circle plan will become available in stores. Those who pre-order an iPhone from Virgin Mobile today should receive it by the June 27th start date as well.
So what do you think of this new plan from Virgin Mobile? Is it a home run or a dud?
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