RadioShack will reportedly be the first to offer Virgin Mobile’s no-contract iPhone 5 starting Friday. When the carrier announced last week that it would be carrying the iPhone 5, it did not mention which retailers would be selling the devices to customers. Virgin will be offering all three storage capacities for the iPhone 5: the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB for $549.99, $649.99 and $749.99, respectively.
These prices are about $100 cheaper than Apple’s prices for a contract-free iPhone. Customers who have an eligible trade-in can receive up to $50 off the already discounted price, but only if they take advantage of the offer before July 27. RadioShack already carries Virgin phones, including Apple’s iPhone 4/4S which are also available at the store on other carriers such as Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T. RadioShack is offering a $50 discount on the 4/4S as well, which can bring the no-contract iPhone 4/4S price down to $200 if it is combined with an eligible trade-in.
All versions of the iPhone 5 are available with Virgin Mobile’s “Beyond Talk” plans which allow customers to pay as low as $35 for unlimited 3G/4G data (which is throttled after 2.5GB) as well as 300 anytime minutes. A $40 plan will get customers 1,200 minutes on top of the $35 plan, and a $50 plan will give unlimited minutes. These low prices are some of the best on the market, giving customers a better deal than T-Mobile’s “Uncarrier” plans. With those plans, T-Mobile removes subsidized pricing and charges customers a very low price, followed by a series of higher monthly bills.
After the price of the iPhone is paid off, customers will begin to pay a significantly lower bill. Virgin Mobile is instead offering the device at $100 off in addition to a very low monthly bill. Customers who opt to pay their bills via debit card, credit card, or PayPal will see their bills decrease by $5 per month.
At this point, RadioShack appears to be the only retailer carrying Virgin Mobile’s iPhone 5, although it is very likely Walmart, Target, and Best Buy will also get on board very soon.