Update – July 14: A Virgin Mobile PR rep sent over a statement to Android Authority, stating that the carrier will still support their current Android smartphone owners until mid-2018, including offering those customers updates to their devices. In addition, while Virgin Mobile is still only selling iPhones in its own stores and on its site to new customers, the carrier will continue to sell new Android devices via other retail outlets, such as Walmart, Best Buy and Target, until the end of 2017.
Original Story – June 21: One of the biggest no-contract wireless carriers in the US is making a very surprising change, and it’s not good news for Android fans. Virgin Mobile USA, owned by Sprint, has revealed that as of June 27, it will only sell Apple’s iPhone devices. Yes, that means it will no longer sell any Android phones at all.
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The change is part of a new agreement between Virgin Mobile and Apple. In addition to becoming an iPhone-exclusive network, Virgin Mobile is offering a new promotion that will give anyone who buys an iPhone through the carrier a way to get unlimited talk, text, and data for just $1 for an entire year. After that year ends, the rate will go up to $50 a month. You must sign up by July 31 to take advantage of this deal.
So why is Virgin Mobile completely getting rid of Android phones? In a chat with Ad Age, Angela Rittgers, the chief marketing officer at Virgin Mobile, said this change is because the carrier wants to “disrupt” the mobile phone industry and make choosing a carrier more “fun and exciting”.
This is certainly a risky move by Virgin Mobile. There are a bunch of unlocked Android phones on the market that that are cheaper to buy than the iPhone, and they also can offer features like more memory and larger displays. We will have to wait and see if this 180-degree shift will be a success.