Virgin Mobile USA goes iPhone-exclusive, promises first year of unlimited plan for $1

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in iPhone
Sprint-owned Virgin Mobile USA announced this week that as of June 27, it will only sell the iPhone -- and through the end of July, offer the first year of an "Inner Circle" unlimited plan for $1.




The $1 unlimited deal is available to new customers buying an iPhone, along with existing subscribers paying to upgrade, the carrier said. After the first year the plan will cost $50 per month, with mandatory AutoPay.

There are additional restrictions. Some forms of data, for instance, are being "mobile-optimized" -- video streams at about 480p resolution, while music is limited to 500 kilobits per second. "Cloud gaming" is capped at 2 megabits per second.

After 23 gigabytes are used in a month, customers may find their bandwidth throttled in times and places with network congestion. Subscribers are at risk of losing service altogether if off-network roaming exceeds 800 voice minutes or 100 megabytes.

Paying an extra $5 per month allows unlimited global texting, and unlimited calls to Canada and Mexico. A $10 add-on includes everything in the $5 bundle, plus unlimited landline calls to over 70 countries, 200 voice minutes to "select" cellphones in over 50 countries, and lower per-minute rates to some 200 locations.

People enrolled in Inner Circle should also get perks from various Virgin-related businesses, such as a bonus Virgin Atlantic ticket when booking a round-trip fare to the U.K.

iPhone prices range from $279 for a 32-gigabyte iPhone SE through to $969.99 for a 256-gigabyte 7 Plus. The carrier is also selling a 32-gigabyte iPhone 6, albeit for $319. Orders made today will ship June 27.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,404member
    Got the lawn chair, got the umbrella, got the beer. Time to sit back and watch.
    longpathbdkennedy1002watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 16
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,755member
    Man, that's some aggressive promotion, who will react, I'm guessing T-mobile will have their own good offer (but different so it cannot be compared), but the other players are not quick movers.

    It could get bloody.

    Apple will rejoice though if subsidizing an Iphone as a marketing play becomes a big thing.
    longpathbaconstangwatto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 3 of 16
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,020member
    It's great there are companies like Virgin and T-Mobile shaking up the industry. I would love to ditch Verizon, but their coverage is far superior to companies like T-Mobile. 
    longpathmwhiteronn
  • Reply 4 of 16
    payecopayeco Posts: 158member
    It's great there are companies like Virgin and T-Mobile shaking up the industry. I would love to ditch Verizon, but their coverage is far superior to companies like T-Mobile. 
    When was the last time you tried T-Mobile? I switched to T-Mobile in February and it's been great so far. Coverage is as good as AT&T in my area (with way faster speeds) and better than Verizon. Their coverage has gotten dramatically better in the last year.
    curtis hannah
  • Reply 5 of 16
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,020member
    payeco said:
    It's great there are companies like Virgin and T-Mobile shaking up the industry. I would love to ditch Verizon, but their coverage is far superior to companies like T-Mobile. 
    When was the last time you tried T-Mobile? I switched to T-Mobile in February and it's been great so far. Coverage is as good as AT&T in my area (with way faster speeds) and better than Verizon. Their coverage has gotten dramatically better in the last year.
    I was up in the mountains a few weeks ago and a friend of mine has T-Mobile. His phone wouldn't work at all. Only one that would is mine with Verizon. I'm sure T-Mobile is fine in cities, but I travel a lot and Verizon has the best coverage, especially in remote areas such as National Parks. 
    mwhiteronncurtis hannahredgeminipa
  • Reply 6 of 16
    payeco said:
    It's great there are companies like Virgin and T-Mobile shaking up the industry. I would love to ditch Verizon, but their coverage is far superior to companies like T-Mobile. 
    When was the last time you tried T-Mobile? I switched to T-Mobile in February and it's been great so far. Coverage is as good as AT&T in my area (with way faster speeds) and better than Verizon. Their coverage has gotten dramatically better in the last year.
    I totally agree with boltsfan17 and I recently switched from AT&T to Verizon for better coverage and AT&T was better than Sprint and T-Mobile in my state.  I often have coverage when no one else does.  
    mwhiteboltsfan17
  • Reply 7 of 16
    payeco said:
    It's great there are companies like Virgin and T-Mobile shaking up the industry. I would love to ditch Verizon, but their coverage is far superior to companies like T-Mobile. 
    When was the last time you tried T-Mobile? I switched to T-Mobile in February and it's been great so far. Coverage is as good as AT&T in my area (with way faster speeds) and better than Verizon. Their coverage has gotten dramatically better in the last year.
    I was up in the mountains a few weeks ago and a friend of mine has T-Mobile. His phone wouldn't work at all. Only one that would is mine with Verizon. I'm sure T-Mobile is fine in cities, but I travel a lot and Verizon has the best coverage, especially in remote areas such as National Parks. 
    I switched from Verizon to T-mobile last year and absolutely hate it. I live in Dallas and can tell you T-mibile network is pathetic here. I will switch back to Verizon in a heartbeat. 
  • Reply 8 of 16
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,755member
    T-mobile (and I'm guessing Virgin) is mostly aimed at mostly urban markets, and if its where you are and your ready to give up some peripheral coverage for the big savings, well you're set.
    baconstang
  • Reply 9 of 16
    georgie01georgie01 Posts: 179member
    I was up in the mountains a few weeks ago and a friend of mine has T-Mobile. His phone wouldn't work at all. Only one that would is mine with Verizon. I'm sure T-Mobile is fine in cities, but I travel a lot and Verizon has the best coverage, especially in remote areas such as National Parks. 

    Things really have changed. While Verizon does seem to have somewhat better coverage overall, T-Mobile's coverage is better than 'fine in cities'. I travel and rarely do I have issues with T-Mobile coverage. Some places have good T-Mobile coverage and poor Verizon coverage—that made me feel a little good the first time that happened.

    Even in the past 6 months I started receiving T-Mobile service in my home when I previously could only get it outside. It's not like it used to be.

    And really, you need coverage in a National Park? That's seriously a selling point? :) It seems to me a National Park is a valuable place to get away from the busyness of technology. Not to mention that a friend of mine went to Yosemite not too long ago and lost all Verizon service (with a Samsung S6) except where they parked.
  • Reply 10 of 16
    ronnronn Posts: 297member
    I left Sprint/Virgin. Currently have T-Mobile. When I'm in Virginia, I essentially do without service. Everyone there has to use Verizon for reliable service. AT&T is so-so. This deal is tempting, but I doubt I'd give serious consideration to Virgin.
  • Reply 11 of 16
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    About damn time!! It makes things easier and faster. Been wondering if anyone would be brave enough. 

    I figured AT&T would stay exclusive as the knockoffs flooded the market but didn't disappointingly.

    would love to see half of all carriers eventually go iPhone exclusive. At least until new technology is introduced. 
  • Reply 12 of 16
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,020member
    georgie01 said:
    I was up in the mountains a few weeks ago and a friend of mine has T-Mobile. His phone wouldn't work at all. Only one that would is mine with Verizon. I'm sure T-Mobile is fine in cities, but I travel a lot and Verizon has the best coverage, especially in remote areas such as National Parks. 

    Things really have changed. While Verizon does seem to have somewhat better coverage overall, T-Mobile's coverage is better than 'fine in cities'. I travel and rarely do I have issues with T-Mobile coverage. Some places have good T-Mobile coverage and poor Verizon coverage—that made me feel a little good the first time that happened.

    Even in the past 6 months I started receiving T-Mobile service in my home when I previously could only get it outside. It's not like it used to be.

    And really, you need coverage in a National Park? That's seriously a selling point? :) It seems to me a National Park is a valuable place to get away from the busyness of technology. Not to mention that a friend of mine went to Yosemite not too long ago and lost all Verizon service (with a Samsung S6) except where they parked.
    Coverage in National Parks is not a selling point for me. I go camping a lot in National Parks every year and never turn my phone on unless I use it for taking pictures. When I needed the coverage was last year driving through Grand Teton National Park. All the first come, first serve campgrounds were full so I pulled over looking to book a room in Jackson, Wyoming. I was actually just in Yosemite a few days ago and Verizon worked all throughout Yosemite Valley. I did lose service driving to Glacier Point and a few other areas, but I doubt anyone could get service there. 
  • Reply 13 of 16
    titantigertitantiger Posts: 204member
    TMobile has greatly expanded their coverage the last couple of years, but you can only take advantage of it if you have a newer phone.  For iPhones, that's a 6S or newer.  There are a handful of Android handsets that can as well, but not nearly as many as you'd think.
  • Reply 14 of 16
    bellsbells Posts: 82member
    payeco said:
    It's great there are companies like Virgin and T-Mobile shaking up the industry. I would love to ditch Verizon, but their coverage is far superior to companies like T-Mobile. 
    When was the last time you tried T-Mobile? I switched to T-Mobile in February and it's been great so far. Coverage is as good as AT&T in my area (with way faster speeds) and better than Verizon. Their coverage has gotten dramatically better in the last year.
    I was up in the mountains a few weeks ago and a friend of mine has T-Mobile. His phone wouldn't work at all. Only one that would is mine with Verizon. I'm sure T-Mobile is fine in cities, but I travel a lot and Verizon has the best coverage, especially in remote areas such as National Parks. 

    That is pretty odd that your friend's phone wouldn't work at all. I've been on T-Mobile five years. When I go to the UP in Michigan there are no T-Mobile towers. No Verizon either at least where I go. My phone connects to AT&T's network. I've never been without coverage. T-Mobile doesn't charge extra for roaming.

    I went to Ireland recently with a group and I was the only one that had uninterrupted coverage. I didn't pay extra for that.
  • Reply 15 of 16
    big kcbig kc Posts: 102member
    Sprint's network? $1/year is about right. Anything more would be a ripoff. It's awful, virtually everywhere. I was with AT&T for almost 20 years, but switched to T-Mo in February. The network is fine here in metro Phoenix - a few coverage issues in rare small pockets, but overall very usable. It's even OK in rural southeastern Arizona, with improvements still to come. We're now paying $100/month for 3 lines, all unlimited, and my line includes the T-Mobile One Plus add-on, at no cost, via a promo run a couple of months ago (normally $5 more/month). The 3rd line was added at no cost during a promo that lasted only 5 days around the beginning of April. My retired, fixed-income sister now has a "free" cell line after tacking it onto my account. For what we are now paying, it's an unbeatable deal, and works just fine for us. And I only expect T-Mo to get better, potential Sprint merger notwithstanding.
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 16 of 16
    big kc said:
    Sprint's network? $1/year is about right. Anything more would be a ripoff. It's awful, virtually everywhere. I was with AT&T for almost 20 years, but switched to T-Mo in February. The network is fine here in metro Phoenix - a few coverage issues in rare small pockets, but overall very usable. It's even OK in rural southeastern Arizona, with improvements still to come. We're now paying $100/month for 3 lines, all unlimited, and my line includes the T-Mobile One Plus add-on, at no cost, via a promo run a couple of months ago (normally $5 more/month). The 3rd line was added at no cost during a promo that lasted only 5 days around the beginning of April. My retired, fixed-income sister now has a "free" cell line after tacking it onto my account. For what we are now paying, it's an unbeatable deal, and works just fine for us. And I only expect T-Mo to get better, potential Sprint merger notwithstanding.
    As they say, YMMV... I've been with Sprint for over 4 years now, and it isn't exactly terrible... at least not for me, and I live in and travel through a lot of rural areas. Granted, the more desolate areas roam on Verizon, which is usually horrid data coverage, but it's usable. My total bill is $280, and that includes unlimited everything with 10GB of hotspot for 3 phones, 2 iPhone 7 Plus 128GBs leased ($39.50 each) and an iPhone 6 Plus financed ($31.25). It isn't the best deal, but T-Mobile still doesn't work in many areas I travel through. I frequently check the coverage map, and there would be a lot of dead zones (for me) - looks like no more roaming agreement with AT&T - and those are areas you don't want to be broken down without coverage. Maybe when we move, I'll look into T-Mobile again, as we won't have the desolate areas we have now. 
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