Confirming earlier reports, prepaid iPhones are now available at Virgin Mobile, a Sprint-owned carrier in the United States. The 16GB/32GB iPhone 4S will set you back $649 ($549 for the 8GB iPhone 4) with one of Virgin’s no-commit plans priced between $30-$50.
The plans offer unlimited data and messaging and you can also get a $5 discount if you sign up for automatic monthly payments. The devices is available at Virgin’s ten brand spanking new retail stores (their first retail outlets in the U.S.), but also over at Best Buy, RadioShack and select local retailers…
This being a prepaid option means you’re paying the full, unsubsidized price for the hardware for the benefit of a month-to-month billing which can be canceled at a moment’s notice, no questions asked.
Virgin’s asking prices match Apple’s unlocked iPhones, but are also $150 higher compared to Cricket, a Leap Wireless company, which became the first to offer prepaid iPhones in the United States.
Prepaid iPhones could be especially interesting to those wishing to jailbreak and run their device on any network. Note that Virgin Mobile is a Sprint property, meaning these phones are of a CDMA variety.
Another reason to go prepaid is cost of ownership as you’re not bound by lengthy contractual commitments that racket up total cost of ownership over the lifetime of your agreement to the tune of two thousand dollars.
Would you consider a prepaid iPhone?