Are you a Virgin?

Virgin Mobile

Friday (June 28th) is a big milestone for Virgin Mobile users, you will be getting the iPhone 5. Don’t all carriers have the iPhone 5, yep pretty much.

Virgin Mobile plans differ from other carriers since data is technically unlimited while voice minutes are sold at a premium. In addition, there’s no contract required to activate Virgin Mobile service. Service providers like Verizon and AT&T require two-year contracts in addition to putting premium prices on data while offering unlimited voice minutes.

Operating a 16GB iPhone 5 on Virgin Mobile’s network for two years will cost between $1270 to $1870 depending on the voice plan while operating the same phone on Verizon for the same two years will cost between$2120 to $10,160 depending on the data plan (300MB per month up to to50GB per month).

Virgin Mobile’s three main Beyond Talk unlimited data and messaging plans include $35 for 300 anytime minutes per month, $45 for 1200 anytime minutes per month and $55 per month for unlimited minutes. As a bonus, subscribers can get an additional $5 off their bill each month simply signing up for automatic payments.

While data is technically unlimited with the Beyond Talk plans, Virgin Mobile does throttle 4G and 3G data speeds after a subscriber passes a 2.5GB monthly threshold for data usage. Once the user hits that cap, data speeds automatically fall to 256Kbps for the remainder of the billing cycle. These similar policies implemented by other prepaid carriers that offer smart phones. However, average monthly data usage for iPhone users is less than 2GB per month according to a Fierce Wireless study published during March 2013.

Are you a Virgin Mobile subscriber? If so, does this excite you that the iPhone 5 is coming?

With this news comes the price slashes at Wal-Mart. They are aggressively lowering the price on Apple’s iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S. Beginning Saturday, the iPhone 5 will sell for $129 (down from $189) and the iPhone 4Swill sell for just $39 (down from $89). To get the devices at that price will require signing a new two-year contract with Verizon, AT&T or Sprint.

This isn’t the first-time Wal-Mart has offered drastically lower prices for Apple devices. In December, the company offered the iPhone 5 for $127 and the iPhone 4S for $47as part of a holiday promotion.

This is for Wal-Mart to capture those who go to their carrier’s stores to come into Wal-Mart and purchase those carrier’s products. In a way promoting themselves. But those stores that price match. How will it affect them? Only time will tell.

However, you can speculate if Wal-Mart is slashing prices, then other follow that just says that they trying to get out the inventory they have to have room for the next gen phone rumored to be coming out later this year.

As far as the new prices they are going to be permanent and not temporary like those of the holiday season. This is good for those who don’t want to pay the full price of the phone like Virgin mobile subscribers. But the down fall of the good comes the bad when prices vary on services for calling and data plans. In addition, with the good comes that bad as far as when it comes to coverage and signal strength. Depending on your location and travel plans, one carrier might be better than the other.

By Forrest L. Rawls

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