MarketWatch is out with a new report today that claims Sprint will be bringing the iPhone to their prepaid subsidiary Virgin Mobile as early as July 1st. Just last week, it was confirmed that the iPhone will be launching on prepaid carrier Cricket Wireless later this month, while it has also been rumored that the iPhone will land on Boost Mobile in September, another prepaid brand that operates under Sprint. Details just ahead.
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.
It is unknown how much the iPhone will retail for on Virgin Mobile, but the mobile carrier’s current smartphone plans start at $35 per month with unlimited data — with a soft limit of 2.5 GB — but it is still unclear if the iPhone would be considered a qualifying handset for this cheapest plan.
Virgin Mobile also operates in Canada as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bell, but is not yet known if the iPhone is coming to the carrier across the border. [Update: Virgin Mobile in Canada already carries the iPhone.]