Virgin Mobile USA soon will sell Apple iPhones exclusively to customers who want to use its prepaid, no-contract cellular services, part of a marketing relationship it has established with Apple. To celebrate the changes, Virgin is offering a special $1 deal for 12 months of wireless services with the purchase of a new iPhone via VirginMobileUSA.com or in Apple retail stores through July 31.
The special deal, which was announced June 21, includes unlimited talk, text and data on Virgin's network, according to the company. Customers who sign up after July 31 can receive six months of unlimited Virgin cellular service for $1.
The promotions are part of the company's "Inner Circle" incentives, which reward customers with a host of perks for giving their business to the carrier. The Inner Circle bonuses also include special, limited-time deals from Virgin Mobile's sister companies including Virgin Atlantic airline, Virgin Hotels and more to allow customers to experience other company offerings.
"Virgin has always looked to shake things up and challenge the status quo in any sector we go into," said Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, in a statement announcing the new strategy. "Mobile is no exception and with Virgin Mobile USA, we've now worked with Apple to create a compelling offer for our new Inner Circle plan. Simply put, when you buy an iPhone you will get the highest quality device and service plus access to an array of Virgin experiences and offers with our group of companies. I'm excited to share that we are changing the way you experience mobile."
The deal makes Virgin Mobile USA the first iPhone-only carrier in the United States, according to the company.
Customers who want to sign up for the new service and the one year of service for $1 offer can preorder their new iPhones, which will be available June 27.
Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said in a statement that the partnership between the companies will be a good one for their customers. "We're thrilled Virgin Mobile is becoming the first iPhone-only carrier, and we're excited to be able to offer Virgin Mobile services directly to our customers in Apple stores. The new Inner Circle offer is a fun idea, and Virgin Mobile customers are going to love having the best, most advanced iPhones ever."
After the $1 promotional period, customer calling plans will revert to $50 per month for unlimited calling, text and 4G LTE data.
Inner Circle customers can choose between iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus or iPhone SE handsets to use with the company's services. An iPhone 7 Plus phone with 32GB of storage starts at $770, while an iPhone 7 with 32GB of storage starts at $650. An iPhone 6s Plus with 32GB of storage starts at $650, while an iPhone 6s with 32GB of storage starts at $550. An iPhone SE with 32GB of storage starts at $280, while an iPhone 6 with 32GB of storage starts at $320.
The companies also plan to offer used iPhones, which include one-year Apple warranties, on the Virgin Mobile website starting in the fall under the Inner Circle plans, according to Virgin Mobile USA.
Some of the Inner Circle perks include a free, round-trip companion ticket to the United Kingdom on Virgin Atlantic, a night's stay at Virgin Hotels, $170 in savings on an introductory offer to the Virgin Wines club, up to 20 percent off flights on Virgin America and a 20 percent discount to the Virgin Sport San Francisco Festival of Fitness Oct. 13-15.