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Snippet: Virgin Mobile USA Goes iPhone-Only ☇

Shared on July 8, 2017

Sarah Perez for TechCrunch:

In attempt to woo customers away from competitors, Virgin Mobile USA today announced a deal that will see it transitioning to become an iPhone-only carrier. The company is also partnering with Apple to activate Virgin’s services in Apple’s stores. To kick off this change, Virgin introduced a limited time promotion that will see it giving away a year’s worth of unlimited talk, text and data for only a dollar.

This news had been sitting in my Safari Reading List for awhile, but I finally got around to commenting. There are a few caveats to this plan, but overall, it looks like a pretty solid deal, as long as Sprint service is good in your area and you can live with some of the odd shortcomings that still occur (no VoLTE, no simultaneous data and voice, etc.). Beyond that, I think it’s a bold move for a brand that has always seemed redundant (Sprint’s budget prepaid services is Boost Mobile and competes with MetroPCS and Cricket Wireless).

Because of this refocus, this service can offer something different and the company as a whole can focus on the iPhone. This could make customer service better since there is one platform to support (and presumably one way of provisioning/activating devices). The service will have to still be priced competitively after the promotion, but I think quite a few people will appreciate a carrier that does the iPhone and does it well. Selling the service at Apple Stores is a very smart move and it basically gives Apple their own carrier without the overhead of actually running it.

I’ve said that Sprint’s got issues, but things like this might be a good step in the right direction. Then again, there is the looming threat that someone will buy Sprint and things could be completely different in a year from now when most people are done with their $1 promotion.

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