iphone_5_black_whiteAs announced earlier this month, Sprint subsidiary Virgin Mobile is set to begin offering the iPhone 5 later this week. While the no-contract carrier will offer the phone via its own website, select retailers, such as Best Buy and RadioShack, will also be carrying the Virgin Mobile iPhone 5.

According to a tipster, RadioShack will begin selling the contract-free Virgin Mobile iPhone 5 beginning tomorrow, both in store and online. The entry level 16GB iPhone 5 will retail for $ 549.99, and customers with an eligible trade-in can receive $ 50 off the purchase price before July 27.

RadioShack is also offering new discounts for Virgin Mobile’s iPhone 4 and 4S. The iPhone 4S retails for $ 400 while the iPhone 4 retails for $ 300. RadioShack is introducing a $ 50 promotional discount on the older iPhones until July 6, which can be coupled with the $ 50 trade-in discount. That drops the price of a contract-free iPhone 4 to $ 200 with an eligible trade-in.

Virgin Mobile’s iPhones are available with no contract and plans begin at $ 35 a month, though the price can drop as low as $ 30 per month with auto pay. At the $ 35 price point, the phone comes with 300 minutes of talk time, unlimited messaging, and unlimited 3G data usage (throttled after 2.5GB). A $ 40 plan with 1200 minutes and a $ 50 plan with unlimited minutes are also available.

This is exactly what I was waiting for!… Six months ago.

Honestly. Six months ago this is exactly what I wanted: unsubsidized new-ish iPhone, reasonable pay-as-you-go plan. Now the next iPhone is around the corner. Why would I want to pay (slightly less than) unsubsidized for last year’s phone?

Nice try. Too late guys.

You guys are hilarious. :)

Two points:

1) You’re forgetting that the slightly less than unsubsidized price is coupled with RIDICULOUSLY cheap monthly rate plans ($ 30-$ 50/mo). I am in a fantastic Sprint area, so I can benefit from Virgin Mobile. I save hundreds of dollars a year, and I accept that I will have to be on last year’s model for 9 months behind everyone else. So what? I have an extra $ 600 or more in my pocket while your brand-new-in-October iPhone 5 suddenly looks stale in front of the potentially new iPhone 5S. (By the way, the 4S was still a great phone when the 5 launched, and I’m sure the 5 will run iOS 7 just fine when the 5S is released).

2) You can’t blame them for releasing it in June. Why would Sprint, the 100% owner of Virgin Mobile, offer its prepaid division the current iPhone at or right after its launch? As a customer, I would obviously choose the $ 30-$ 50/mo plans over their $ 80+fees-$ 110+fees/mo plans. They’re playing it smart – releasing the 5 while it’s still current and the 5S is around the corner.

I love that we all have different values – you value the latest iPhone over cheaper service. That’s not a bad thing! I just want to open you up to the ideas of people who have different values from you (like me).

Have a great day!

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