Today, MarketWatch reports that Sprint will announce later this week that it will start to offer the iPhone as a prepaid option via its Virgin Mobile brand. This announcement comes just days after Leap Wireless announced that it would begin offering the iPhone on a prepaid basis through its Cricket brand beginning June 22.
The Overland Park, Kan., carrier will announce this week it will offer the popular smartphone on its Virgin Mobile pay-as-you-go brand starting as soon as July 1, according to people familiar with the company’s plans. Sprint follows Leap Wireless International Inc. in selling the device with prepaid service.
By offering the iPhone, Sprint may help satisfy its commitment to Apple to buy $15.5 billion of the phones over four years, an aggressive bet as more carriers are getting access to the once-exclusive device. Sprint’s prepaid service, which also includes the Boost Mobile brand, has been its lone area of growth as contract customers have fled.
The pricing on Virgin Mobile for the iPhone remains unknown, and it is also not known if Sprint’s Boost Mobile brand will also have access to the device. Rumors in the past have suggested that Boost may add the iPhone in September.
Currently, Virgin Mobile’s existing smartphone plan start at $35 per month with unlimited data (throttled after 2.5 GB). However, the report says that it is unknown whether the iPhone will be eligible for the carrier’s cheapest plans.
It seems that Apple is starting to get into the pre-paid market heavily with the iPhone.