As it was announced just earlier this month, the prepaid mobile carrier named Virgin Mobile by Sprint is releasing the iPhone tommorow, and the carrier has started taking orders just ahead of the official release.
And as said on Bloombergs Businessweek, Virgin Mobile is trying to capitalize on their own publicity which is being generated by the iPhone in an attempt to remake itself as a big player in the market, by opening it’s ten retail stores for the first time ever in Chicago to conincide with the iPhone release.
And of the stores are then successful, the mobile carrier then will be seeking to expand their plan across the nation.
The new stores also mark a strategy shift for Virgin, which has previously relied on retailers such as RadioShack Corp. and Best Buy Co. to market its service, said Jeff Auman, a vice president at the carrier.
Pay-as-you-go companies, which let customers get mobile- phone service without credit checks and long-term contracts, are trying to reinvigorate the market by offering the iPhone and other popular smartphones. The industry has seen its growth slow in recent years, hurt by major carriers rolling out better phones and more flexible payment plans.
The CEO named Dan Hesse has said that he is expecting “the iPhone will be successful and will do well with Virgin’s mobile services” as based on the amounts of pre-orders so far, while giving consumers the retail stores that are dedicated to the support and purchases that would help Virgin to then extend their brand which has already found a loyal method of following the prepaid phone userbase.
Virgin Mobile is not the first carrier to offer the iPhone through prepaid plans, they are the second. Leap Wireless already has offered this, which released the device through their own Cricket brand just last weekend. Leap also refused to disclose their number in sales of the iPhone so far, though their own attempt to add the iPhone has helped them gain alot of publicity so far.
Today’s report says that MetroPC’s could possibly be adding the iPhone to their own lineup as soon as Apple releases an LTE-compatible model, which is being expected to be released sometime later this year respectively. MetroPC’s own carrier Tom Keys confirmed that the mobile carrier has been in talks with Apple in regards to their iPhone and would also “obviously be interested” as soon as LTE is included with the iPhone in the prepaid plans for consumers.