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iPhone 5c, 5s launch on Virgin Mobile for $100 less than Apple pricing

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
As of Tuesday, prepaid carrier Virgin Mobile is now offering Apple's new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c off-contract for $100 less than Apple itself sells the devices.



Virgin Mobile's site lists the 16GB iPhone 5s for $550 off-contract, while the iPhone 5c sells for $450 off contract. The same two devices on Apple's own store sell for $650 and $550, respectively.

Interestingly, the iPhone 5, which arrived on Virgin in June of this year, still sells for $550 off-contract.

Virgin revealed last week that the new iPhones would be landing on its network on October 1, and the availability of the devices on the prepaid carrier may reflect which models are in higher demand from Apple.

The gold iPhone 5s color variant, which sold out quickly on the device's launch date, was listed as Out of Stock for interested Virgin customers when sales of the handset went live. This suggests the carrier was not supplied with the gold color option, or saw such high demand that all stocked units were immediately sold.

Higher-capacity models of both the iPhone 5s (32GB and 64GB) and 5c (32GB) are listed as "Web Only" products, while the yellow color variant of the polycarbonate-backed iPhone 5c is also listed as Out of Stock.
post #2 of 32

It's too bad that it's Virgin and not T-Mobile that is offering the unlocked phone for cheaper.

 

Virgin, which is same network as Sprint I believe, is CDMA. And an unlocked CDMA iPhone is pretty worthless, especially if one intends to travel.

post #3 of 32
I wonder which network Virgin mobile uses, if its verizon, at&t, sprint or tmobile.
post #4 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by superjunaid View Post

I wonder which network Virgin mobile uses, if its verizon, at&t, sprint or tmobile.

 

And I wonder if you read my post.

post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

It's too bad that it's Virgin and not T-Mobile that is offering the unlocked phone for cheaper.

 

I guarantee the Virgin phone is locked. Prepaid phones are still subsidized, though at a lower rate. Looking on their website, do you think a Samsung Entro flip phone really costs $12 including free shipping and retail markup?

post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by konqerror View Post
 

 

I guarantee the Virgin phone is locked. Prepaid phones are still subsidized, though at a lower rate. Looking on their website, do you think a Samsung Entro flip phone really costs $12 including free shipping and retail markup?

 

I don't know who you are of course, so I don't know how much your guarantees are worth, but the iPhone 5s no contract costs $549 on Sprint. That is not subsidized. 

 

 

post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

 

I don't know who you are of course, so I don't know how much your guarantees are worth, but the iPhone 5s no contract costs $549 on Sprint. That is not subsidized. 

 

 

 

You are incorrect and confusing "subsidized" with "contract". The fact that something is under no contract doesn't mean it hasn't been subsidized. Sprint will only unlock a no-contract phone after 3 months, which lets them recover some of their handset subsidy.

post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

It's too bad that it's Virgin and not T-Mobile that is offering the unlocked phone for cheaper.

Virgin, which is same network as Sprint I believe, is CDMA. And an unlocked CDMA iPhone is pretty worthless, especially if one intends to travel.

There's no such thing as a unlocked CDMA phone.
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post #9 of 32

NVM...........

post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


There's no such thing as a unlocked CDMA phone.

 

I see. I suppose that maybe there's no point in having one, as I said in my first post, but I wasn't aware that there was no such a thing.

 

So why would somebody buy the $550 iPhone from Sprint then? Just to be on no contract, but your phone is still tied for life to Sprint? Sounds like a bum deal.


Edited by Apple ][ - 10/1/13 at 4:21pm
post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

 

I see. I suppose that maybe there's no point in having one, as I said in my first post, but I wasn't aware that there was no such a thing.

 

So why would somebody buy the $550 iPhone from Sprint then? Just to be on no contract, but your phone is still tied for life to Sprint? Sound like a bum deal.

 

I thought you can now use the 5S and 5C on any network (CDMA, GSM, LTE, etc.).  They are supposed to have basebased chips that works on any network?

post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by konqerror View Post
 

 

You are incorrect and confusing "subsidized" with "contract". The fact that something is under no contract doesn't mean it hasn't been subsidized. Sprint will only unlock a no-contract phone after 3 months, which lets them recover some of their handset subsidy.

 

I do know the difference between subsidized and contract. The $99 iPhone 5s is obviously subsidized.

 

Why would somebody spend $550 on an iPhone from Sprint if it's subsidized? That doesn't make sense. 

post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by kharvel View Post
 

 

I thought you can now use the 5S and 5C on any network (CDMA, GSM, LTE, etc.).  They are supposed to have basebased chips that works on any network?

 

I've been looking into the new iPhones, and it seems that they have different models which offer different LTE support.

 

For example, the iPhone that would be best for me, would be the T-mobile version unlocked, since it'll work in the US and in a lot of places in Europe too.

 

http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/

post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

So why would somebody buy the $550 iPhone from Sprint then? Just to be on no contract, but your phone is still tied for life to Sprint? Sound like a bum deal.

 

Sprint will only activate Sprint phones on their network. Think about it it's not hard. Somebody had their old iPhone stolen and can't qualify for a new one, or somebody simply wants an early upgrade. But they want to stay with Sprint because they like their plans, service or their family or company is on it. Therefore, they buy a marginally subsidized non-contract Sprint phone.

post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by konqerror View Post

Sprint will only activate Sprint phones on their network. Think about it it's not hard. Somebody had their old iPhone stolen and can't qualify for a new one, or somebody simply wants an early upgrade. But they want to stay with Sprint because they like their plans, service or their family or company is on it. Therefore, they buy a marginally subsidized non-contract Sprint phone.
And that is where you story falls down, somebody chose sprint because they liked their service... lol.gif My company is on it and I fought to get off of it because calls would drop in the office where I work due to signal issues. Sprint service is practically worthless nearly everywhere I have used it when you get indoors. Until they solve that issue, they will never be more than what they are, even if they give away their phones for free.
NoahJ
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NoahJ
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post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I see. I suppose that maybe there's no point in having one, as I said in my first post, but I wasn't aware that there was no such a thing.

So why would somebody buy the $550 iPhone from Sprint then? Just to be on no contract, but your phone is still tied for life to Sprint? Sounds like a bum deal.

Well the Verizon iPhone 5s is CDMA, LTE, and most importantly GSM as well. It's the GSM part that's unlocked and can be used on other GSM carriers worldwide, but you wouldn't, at least not easily, be able to use it on any other CDMA carrier.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #17 of 32
Is it right that the 5 costs as much as the 5s and that the 5 costs $100 more than the 5C? That pricing makes no sense.
post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irving Muller View Post

Is it right that the 5 costs as much as the 5s and that the 5 costs $100 more than the 5C? That pricing makes no sense.
5 no longer sold, now called 5C and is same but plastic. (Mostly)
post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis Hannah View Post

5 no longer sold, now called 5C and is same but plastic. (Mostly)

There's gotta be some leftover stock.
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post #20 of 32
Although it remains to be seen, the previous Virgin Mobile iPhones were CDMA, but did have SIM card slots and could be unlocked to be used INTERNATIONALLY, but not domestically. Using one of those GEVEY card things you could use them domestically. Which answers the question posed by kharvel, they may have the hardware ability and all the chips, but are still prevented in software from going on to all networks.
post #21 of 32
The CDMA versions of the iPhone 5s still have the GSM chips in them.

Hence an unlocked CDMA version is "better" than just a plain GSM version as the CDMA version could potentially be used on all main carriers here in the US (Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile).

The Sprint CDMA version also supports ALL LTE frequencies used by Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon.

An unlocked Sprint version of the 5s would be the version to have if any.
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


There's no such thing as a unlocked CDMA phone.

 

Ture. Unless, however, this has been changed from the iPhone 5, the iPhone supports GSM and CDMA. Not sure the policy now, but Verizon and Sprint will upon request unlock the SIM for the GSM network. So, you will be locked on the CDMA network, but unlocked on GSM. Just pop a SIM in. However, carrier specific phones are optimized via software for particular networks. 

post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

 

I see. I suppose that maybe there's no point in having one, as I said in my first post, but I wasn't aware that there was no such a thing.

 

So why would somebody buy the $550 iPhone from Sprint then? Just to be on no contract, but your phone is still tied for life to Sprint? Sounds like a bum deal.

 

With GSM phones like T-Mobile and AT&T a SIM card is used. The phone is locked via software through Apple. If a GSM phone is unlocked, you can easily switch networks just by putting in a SIM card from the different network. CDMA phones do not use a SIM card. The phones, not the SIM card, are hard wired to the network. iPhones, however, have a baseband chip that supports GSM and CDMA. So, if you are on Sprint the CDMA part of the phone would be locked to Sprint, but it is possible to have the GSM part unlocked. 
post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post
 

 

 

Thanks for the explanation. For some reason, your text disappeared when quoting you.

 

If somebody is traveling overseas with a Sprint or Virgin iPhone, then how would they pop in a local GSM sim card, if their iPhone is unlocked? Is the sim card slot just empty on those CDMA phones?

post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post


But what about a factory unlocked 5S or a T-Mobile unlocked 5S? Wouldn't that work on the Sprint CDMA or LTE network given that it is not only GSM unlocked but is also presumably CDMA unlocked (since it supports all frequencies)? So buy T-Mobile contract free 5S and sign up with Sprint later down the road?
post #26 of 32
Although it remains to be seen, the previous Virgin Mobile iPhones were CDMA, but did have SIM card slots and could be unlocked to be used INTERNATIONALLY, but not domestically. Using one of those GEVEY card things you could use them domestically. Which answers the question posed by kharvel, they may have the hardware ability and all the chips, but are still prevented in software from going on to all networks.
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

 

I see. I suppose that maybe there's no point in having one, as I said in my first post, but I wasn't aware that there was no such a thing.

 

So why would somebody buy the $550 iPhone from Sprint then? Just to be on no contract, but your phone is still tied for life to Sprint? Sounds like a bum deal.

 

Where do you guys get this erroneous info from? I am with Sprint and have an unlocked iPhone that allows me to use it on practically every GSM network in the world except AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S. 

 

Virgin Mobile USA along with Boost Mobile are also wholly owned subsidiaries of Sprint. They are in fact their pre-paid carriers. I cannot speak about whether a VM iPhone can be unlocked as easily as Sprint but with Sprint at least you simply call their international department, they look at your account to make sure your account is in good standing and unlock it on their end. Then you need to connect it to iTunes and reset it to factory settings and Apple does something on their end and it is then unlocked allowing you to use overseas once you buy a local SIM card. The Sprint iPhone has both CDMA and GSM as does the Verizon model.

 

I sold my unlocked Sprint iPhone 4S to a guy on Ebay in Tunisia in fact for a lot more money that I expected. I had also used it myself in over 6 countries without problems. I hope that clears things up. 

post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Thanks for the explanation. For some reason, your text disappeared when quoting you.

If somebody is traveling overseas with a Sprint or Virgin iPhone, then how would they pop in a local GSM sim card, if their iPhone is unlocked? Is the sim card slot just empty on those CDMA phones?

Those CDMA phones will still have a SIM because LTE is GSM based.
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post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoahJ View Post


Sprint service is practically worthless nearly everywhere I have used it when you get indoors.

 

Sounds like AT&T. The moment I go inside my or my mom's house, boom, no signal. It truly sucks as I can't even use the phone as a backup for when my ISP goes out. And both houses are within 1 miles of major highways (I-95 for one and the PA Turnpike for the other) so there should be strong signal.

post #30 of 32

Will an iPhone get better reception then some cheap dumb phone?  I have a Kyocera phone on virigin mobile now and can not get service at my house.  I was wondering though if this is partly because of the cheap phone.  I do get service a few miles down the road.  

post #31 of 32

I Live in the UK, and was going to get a friend to bring an unlocked iPhone 5S when she visits me later in the month as it would save me over £100.

 

Could I get one of these Virgin Mobile phones and use my own GSM sim?

Do Virgin require you buy a month of service before you can activate?

Could I use it on GSM networks without activating it with Virgin?


Or just get an unlocked phone from Apple?  (Although these appear to be sold as T-Mobile phones, would any of the above questions apply?)

 

Thanks...

post #32 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by hexor View Post
 

Will an iPhone get better reception then some cheap dumb phone?  I have a Kyocera phone on virigin mobile now and can not get service at my house.  I was wondering though if this is partly because of the cheap phone.  I do get service a few miles down the road.  

 

I have a Kyocera Rise with Virgin Mobile. I get no reception at my house - but do a few blocks away (we live in a coverage hole). I picked up a 5c last night on Sprint. Still have very little signal.

 

One nice thing Sprint has is the Airave - a mini-cell tower that communicates over your internet connection. My neighbor has one and is pleased. If I can't get Sprint to give me one for free, I'm returning the iPhone and switching to Verizon. When we compared plans, Sprint was a few hundred dollars cheaper than Verizon over the two-year term. Having to buy and mess with an Airave erases that advantage.

 

- Jasen.

 

P.S. Wow! Buying a cell phone and plan is complicated. For what we want, they were all within $20-30/month of each other, but that turns into real money over two years.

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