Virgin Mobile, the unconventional MVNO operating on the Sprint network, has announced it's going iPhone-only. That's right, it's a whole mobile carrier that will only sell iPhones and service for them, in a move to hopefully focus on a profit center and distinguish itself from other prepaid carriers.
Virgin Mobile is kicking off the new iPhone exclusivity with a crazy plan that gives you 12 months of unlimited talk, text, and data for just $1 when you buy a new iPhone. Virgin Mobile's "Inner Circle" also gives you access to some "exclusive" perks with partner companies. It all sounds very on-brand for Virgin.
It isn't clear at this point what Virgin Mobile will do in terms of support for the customers it has who currently use Android phones, but we would assume there will be a long sunset period as those devices are phased out. The Virgin Mobile website has already cut out all of its Android devices, leaving you with the choice of a handful of iPhone models to buy. Virgin Mobile is surely hoping to convert many of its current Android customers to new iPhones as they consider switching to a new carrier.
Thankfully there are tons of prepaid carriers available that compete directly with Virgin Mobile, including the Sprint-operated Boost Mobile, and many let you bring your own device with no strings attached. Aside from offering a couple flagships a year, Virgin Mobile was rather selective in what phones it offered, giving you fewer choices than we'd like to see.
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Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.