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Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) prepaid initiation is rapidly turning into a full-fledged new market for the iPhone. After Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:LEAP) announced it would starting selling the smartphone along with its prepaid service, Cricket, Sprint (NYSE:S) is said to be the next wireless provider to be preparing to make the offering.
Sprint will reportedly offer the iPhone without a wireless contract on its Virgin Mobile pay-as-you-go brand starting July 1, MarketWatch reported on Tuesday. Pricing details are still not clear. It also remains to be seen if Sprint’s other prepaid brand, Boost Mobile, will also eventually carry the device. Virgin’s current prepaid plans begin at $35 a month and offer unlimited data.
Leap is charging $55 for unlimited talk, text and data, but will only allow customers to purchase the device if they live within its Cricket network that covers about 60 million people. Sprint’s network is said to cover as many as 278 million people.
Sprint had committed to buying $15.5 billion of iPhones over four years, and this may be one of the ways for the company to fulfill that order for Apple. The company started offering the iPhone on its postpaid brand in October and has sold 3.3 million units since. Its options for the iPhone include the 8-gigabyte iPhone 4 at $99.99, and the 16-gig iPhone 4S for $199.99 along with two-year contracts.
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