According to a report today, Sprint’s Virgin Mobile USA will become the second American carrier to off the Apple iPhone without a service contract. MarketWatch says the addition to Virgin’s product lineup will be announced later this week. The phone could debut on the network as early as July 1.
The deal could go toward the $15.5 billion in iPhones Sprint has committed to sell over a four-year span. The company pledged to buy the iPhones last year in a deal that brought the iPhone to Sprint, which is the third-largest carrier in the U.S.
It was announced last week that Cricket Wireless would become the first prepaid carrier to sell the iPhone contract-free. It will begin offering the device in the U.S. on June 22. Cricket says it will offer the 16GB iPhone 4S for $500 with an “unlimited” data plan for $55 a month.
Cricket will only offer the iPhone in smaller markets where the brand is available, but the Virgin deal would make the iPhone more widely available to prepaid customers. Virgin uses Sprint’s network, which covers 278 million people.
Prepaid iPhone pricing through Virgin has not been revealed. The carrier has prepaid plans beginning at $35 a month for “unlimited” capped data. The report said it was “unclear” whether the iPhone would be made available with those plans.
Update 6/7/2012: Virgin Mobile has officially confirmed that they will begin offering prepaid iPhones starting on June 29, 2012.