A premium service requirement would probably be required between $75 - $99 per month. There exists a market for such prepaid devices and services as illustrated by both VZW and ATT.
It would be easy for Sprint to add both the EVO and EVO Shift to a new VM Premium service. It's not like it would be a Top Selling device, but it would definitely increase VM's ARPU as most premium devices and associated service plans do at their respective carriers.
Okay, I don't like Apple but let's examine this carefully.
The Optimus was the first of its kind to arrive on Virgin Mobile. It was cheap and didn't actually suck. It had a decent price, ran Android, etc etc. The Optimus was cool but people wanted something new, which VM was willing to provide, at a price. Now we have the HTC Wildfire S, which is really more of the same...the same size, screen, processor. The only major difference is the manufacturer: HTC. Which is known for being high-end. Their Wildfire isn't new but it is at least solid and known.
Using the same more-of-the-same philosophy, let us look at another first of its kind here on VM: the Motorola Triumph. With it comes a slough of new features with a not-so-blistering price. It has a front facing camera, big screen, big processor. When its popularity declines, its price will decline too and VM will table a has-been device that is more of the same. What better device for redundancy than the iPhone?
They share the same basic features (larger than standard screen by VM's standards, front-facing camera), both have issues (Triumph GPS versus iPhone antenna), both come from questionable places (Hu is Huawei? vs the Foxconn suicide factories). Apple fits the bill for high-end device manufacturer. The iPhone 3GS is the perfect time-tested device.
If Virgin Mobile follows suit like this, expect an Apple product in months not years, although it may easily be $350-$400...thou shalt pay for the brand name, just like the HTC.
Although the Evo was the number one device for a good while, and its name isn't going to become one of scorn fast, it is aging in the high-end spectrum. Seeing Sprint cannibalize their okay phones to prepaid is starting to become the rule, not the exception to it. So although I disagree with your data thoughts, your price might be right on...
They already provide the memory choices, but have they degraded the phone with other carriers??
You seem to think prepaid subscribers will accept paying a premium price for a low grade device. Gutting any device and expecting it to produce high sales on prepaid may have worked in the past. Today's prepaid subscribers demand better devices and fortunately have a wide selection of devices and services to choose from. Limiting features and service options will result in high churn rates and low profits for the carriers that choose to partake in such behavior. On the flip side offering the same feature packed devices (that are available to contract subscribers) at reasonable non-subsidized prices will result in loyal profit generating prepaid subscribers.
Gutting the iPhone as you are suggesting would probably lower the cost of entry, but it would no longer be an iPhone. If the prepaid retail pricing is too much, there is always the contract option for you or perhaps a nice Optimus Slider or Triumph.
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Apple would never let an iPhone be cheapened to exist on prepaid.
that being said... you can KEEP the iPhone. give me a 4.5" screen Android phone any day!
There is no prepaid iPhone on the US market, or at least there is no supported, new device that falls under the category. So let's just wait for Apple to surprise us. If they can remove the controls from the iPod Nano, they can darn well sanction the removal of functionality from a prepaid iPhone.
Remember Apple only has one product. Even LG has a high-end Optimus, and then some.
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That's why any Apple iPhone appearing on prepaid VM would carry a Premium Device $400 -$500 price point. VZW and ATT already offer devices with those price points for their respective prepaid services. They know that those devices will not be purchased by the majority of subscribers, but the prepaid subscribers that do purchase the premium devices will be less likely to leave their service and can afford to pay more consistently vs value price subscribers that may frequently be on occasional service hiatus.
Oops, I stand corrected... darnitall, these are two services that do not exist in my area. Last time I checked the prepaid option for Verizon was about as appetizing, and expensive, as the postpaid option. Except of course, being able to quit or switch devices.
But after you sell your soul for a high-end phone at full price, I strongly doubt you will be willing to just leave.
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Folks, please, I don't think I'm asking too much here. DO NOT post unless it has something to do specifically with new devices coming to VM or that you'd like to see come to VM. This thread could be, and is, very informative to new users that come here with this question. Let's not muddy it up with discussion that is unrelated.
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I'll take any screen from 4.5" to 7", except a Triumph. Hoping VM adds a tablet soon. 300 minutes and unlimited on a tablet would be sweet. Even data only would be great. My OV has been flawless, but I sure want a larger screen, and don't really want 2 devices.
I'd give up a dual core chip for a brighter, sharper display and I'm content with a 4.0 inch screen.
The retina display on the iPhone4 is very easy on the eyes . I'd like to see a comparable screen on a VM device.