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Virgin Mobile Becomes World's First iPhone-Exclusive Carrier, Offers Year of Service For $1 (betanews.com) 99

BrianFagioli quotes a report via BetaNews: Goodness gracious, Virgin Mobile USA has made quite the bold moves today. The cellular service provider has become the world's first iPhone-exclusive carrier. In other words, it will no longer offer Android at all. Crazy, right? This is through a partnership with Apple, and Virgin will offer many versions of the device, including iPhone 6, 6S, 7, and SE. The craziness doesn't stop there, however, as there is even something much more exciting -- Virgin Mobile USA is offering unlimited talk, text and data for a dollar. No, that is not a typo -- a single buck will get you unlimited everything for up to a year! This is through a new scheme called "Inner Circle."
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Virgin Mobile Becomes World's First iPhone-Exclusive Carrier, Offers Year of Service For $1

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  • by Cryacin ( 657549 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @06:07PM (#54664579)
    Double Plus Good.
    • Stray? Spiff?
    • by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @09:06PM (#54665457)

      First a rant. If only we could vote this trashastroturf off the front by page of slashdot . You have to join the $50/mo circle plan. The linked article is just some click site.

      • And /without/ needing to join a $50/mo plan, or finance an iPhone. You can bring your own cheap Moto G Play or similar. You only pay a few bucks in taxes/fees some of which get credited back if you do auto-pay. The main catch is you have to be a current customer of another postpaid carrier, bring a Sprint compatible phone, and port in your number. I guess the goal here is to steal customers from the competition. In my area Sprint coverage is as good or better than Verizon or AT&T so I've ported two

        • by torkus ( 1133985 )

          AFAIK, Virgin Mobile is an MVNO for Sprint anyhow.

          So while this is a deal, it's quite literally the same thing that the ACTUAL carrier is doing anyway ... with the added 'bonus' of being forced to buy a new locked phone.

          It's going to get Sprint a whole lot of new service and likely overwhelm their network. The difference is, with Sprint, it's way easier to get in and get out since you can BYO Phone. Well, until a year from now when Sprint is overwhelmed by port-outs.

    • ..with a very limited circle.

      and you'll buy the phone for 123423 bucks or some shit like that.

      and being american, the data is sure as fuck not going to be unlimited - plus are they just fucking going to ban androids? I guess it would work if they were only allowing phones sold by them. you wouldn't get away with one dollar though. more like paying 40 bucks for the phone per month and 1 for service..

    • A company boasting for offering less choice to customers. Less options are good for the customers, I guess, and ignorance is strength.
  • Yeah, right only $1 (Score:5, Informative)

    by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @06:19PM (#54664649)

    But if you read TFA it says (my emphasis)

    "Buy an iPhone and get six months of unlimited talk, text and data on Virgin Mobile's nationwide network for only $1 when you join the 'Inner Circle.' Additionally, customers who sign up by Monday, July 31 will receive a promotional offer of 12 months of service for just $1," says Virgin Mobile USA.

    Unless iPhones are being given away then it's a bit more than $1. Also as per TFA .. it's Sprint's network for better or worse. Plus after the promo it's $50/month.

    Soooooo .. basically it's another click bait article.

    • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

      Unless iPhones are being given away then it's a bit more than $1.

      I'm not sure if you've looked lately, but you can't get a new, subsidized iPhone from any major carrier in the US.

      This is of historical interest to me, though: I used to use Virgin Mobile a decade ago. I left mainly because Sprint's network is lousy in my area.

    • I've been on it for over 10 years and Sprint works fine in cities. It drops out quick in rural areas. Urban jungle is well covered in most cases.

      • by Puls4r ( 724907 )
        Actually - sprint's coverage inside buildings suffers too around here - especially compared to Verizon. I nearly cried when I took my 5 lines at about $40 / month on Sprint and moved to Verizon when I saw the first bill. But being able to actually use those phones all the time - anywhere I go, and still get decent speeds has been more than worth it.
    • The click-bait part is the least of its problems.

      It's a very transparent advertisement. The new Slashdot owners/editors have basically given up. It's like they don't even try to pretend the headlines are genuine anymore.

  • by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @06:19PM (#54664655) Homepage
    Virgin Mobile in the UK spent a good while trying to persuade me not to get an iPhone a few years back, because they didn't carry it or support it. I was interested in their four service bundle (internet, TV, home phone, mobile) at the time as well.

    Still irritating to me that so few carriers in the UK fully support the iPhone - am specifically thinking Visual Voicemail here, and also native wifi calling as opposed to "here - download our horrible underdeveloped and intrusive app instead!". It was the O2 god-awful app (TuGo?) that finally pushed me off that network after having been on since the launch of the iPhone 3GS.
  • Slashdot Becomes World's First iPhone-Exclusive News Site, Offers Year of Shilling (For Free).
    • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

      I don't know... it's vaguely interesting to see any carrier dumping every brand except one these days.

      I can't help but wonder if it's just cheaper/easier for Virgin Mobile to reduce their overhead by going with one manufacturer -- they don't have to worry about juggling OS updates, etc. between multiple manufacturers & models.

      I'm sure it's more complicated than that, but there is a value in having a narrower range of hardware & software to support.

      • Virgin Mobile don't supply any OS updates for any phones.

        That is the job of the phone manufacturer, so the only saving Virgin will be making is a tiny one in managing their stock of iPhones.

  • Anybody seen Samuel L. Jackson around lately?
  • I was on Virgin Mobile for years as they were one of the first inexpensive pre-paid carriers. Over time they kind of boiled-frogged me to higher and higher (ie more expensive) tiers.

    Just switched to usmobile and am now paying 12$ month for similar service.
  • Greatest scam ever! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @06:38PM (#54664739)

    This is the greatest scam ever! They sell you a year of service and an iPhone for one price, then the service doesn't work so they refund your $1 and you can not even take the iPhone elsewhere.

    I used to be a VM customer. Shudder.

  • . . . and I won't go back.

    Superior service and lower cost are why I went with Ting. Leaving VM was a big hassle, too, as they didn't appear to have their people (few of whom were anywhere near my time zone) trained properly.

    Still with Ting, who doesn't care which device I use.

  • I have an Android Galaxy J3 on Virgin Mobile. My monthly charge recently was reduced to $35 for unlimited voice and about 4G of data. It's a reasonable plan that I hope to continue.

    If Virgin is going to stop supporting my hardware, I hope that they will unlock it so I can use it on another carrier.

  • The cellular service provider has become the world's first iPhone-exclusive carrier. In other words, it will no longer offer Android at all.

    And guess who I won't be signing up with, at all.

    • I have them and generally have been happy with their service...but it looks like it's porting time. Pity because they have always given me good service and the CSRs seem to be decent. No Android? No customer.
      • I have them and generally have been happy with their service...but it looks like it's porting time. Pity because they have always given me good service and the CSRs seem to be decent. No Android? No customer.

        From what I can tell, they are only selling iPhones. You could quite likely bring your own (non Apple) device. Of course, not sure what incentive there would be to do so.

        • Virgin requires that you buy Virgin-only phones. I found out yesterday that existing customers can keep buying new Android stuff but NEW customers will be forced into buying obnoxiously overpriced iPhones. I'm still tempted to leave them on principle.
  • Last time I checked, big telecom companies aren't allowed to lose money on their services. That's anti-competitive, and it's illegal, around here anyway.

    • If the telco does that well enough they go out of business. Problem solved.

      Somehow, somewhere they'll have to make money.

      • If they are big enough, they could keep it up long enough to destroy smaller telcos. That's the problem. And that's why it's illegal.

      • by joemck ( 809949 )

        "Somehow, somewhere they'll have to make money."
        Yes. They'll make money off you when you first buy the iPhone through them, and then again after a year when you start paying $50 a month for service. The $1 is an introductory offer.

        "If the telco does that well enough they go out of business. Problem solved."
        The fear is that they'll do it and eat the losses until all viable competitors go under. Then they're a monopoly and are free to charge sky high-prices for bottom-of-the-barrel service, because your only

        • Sky-high prices which, in turn, give room for competitors to undercut their prices. At least, that's how it works in a free economy.

  • Anyone know when they will cancel the current android service ?
    • Probably when the last Android phone on their network stops working. They can push as hard as they want to incentivize new customers to purchase iPhones, but they aren't going to give up the monthly revenue they get from their existing base, which is mostly Android.

      In the past, VM has introduced new phone technology (like 4G) with corresponding new plans. Each time, they grandfathered the existing base. I had a $25/month plan with a 3G phone, which they honored until I wanted to buy a 4G phone, at which

  • by hoofie ( 201045 ) <graeme&graemeandkim,com> on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @11:33PM (#54666049)
    Yet another stunningly useless Article
  • So how long is it going to be before people figure out how to get the 'sim' out, load it into a cheap Android phone and then sell it to a Chinese guy who sells the iPhone on at triple profit?

    • As pointed out elsewhere in the thread... Virgin is a CDMA network. There's likely an LTE SIM card involved which could theoretically work on another phone just for the LTE data stream... but here's the kicker to that: On CDMA the phone's hard-coded IMEI and ESN is authorized to the tower first, then the LTE SIM is authenticated and data is allowed to flow. Without that authorization to the phone, there's no data connection allowed.

      This is unlike GSM where the ID SIM ( most often separate from the LTE SIM

  • Selling Android phones keeps mobile sellers fluid in the months before the new iPhone comes out.

    They're going to have a rubber banding sales pattern after this.

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