Jun 06

According to reports in the Wall Street Journal Sprint will soon offer the iPhone on its Virgin pay-as-you-go brand.

Sprint will announce this week it will offer the popular smartphone on its Virgin Mobile pay-as-you-go brand as soon as July 1, according to people familiar with the company’s plans. The Overland Park, Kan., carrier follows Leap Wireless International Inc. LEAP in selling the device with prepaid service.

Offering the Apple iPhone may help Sprint satisfy its commitment to Apple to buy $15.5 billion of the phones over four years, an aggressive bet as more carriers are getting access to the once-exclusive device. Sprint’s prepaid service, which also includes the Boost Mobile brand, has been the carrier’s lone area of growth as contract customers have fled.

Sprint added 489,000 prepaying customers in the first quarter, though it lost 192,000 contract customers, which are considered more profitable. It began offering the iPhone on its Sprint brand in October, and has sold 3.3 million of the device over the past two quarters.

Pricing for the Virgin Mobile iPhone couldn’t be learned, and it wasn’t clear whether Boost would ultimately carry the device.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

The availability of the prepaid iPhone allows Sprint to sell the device to broader pool of customers. Aside from having no contract, there are no credit checks for customers.

The addition of the iPhone to Virgin Mobile also leaves Deutsche Telekom AG’s T-Mobile USA at a greater disadvantage. It is the last of the largest carriers without the device, which Chief Executive Philipp Humm has said is a major reason it lost 1.7 million contract customers last year.

The prepaid iPhone from Virgin would be more widely available than Leap’s Cricket brand because Cricket is only in smaller markets. Although Cricket users can use their iPhone anywhere, it can only be purchased if they live within its network that covers about 60 million people, or 20% of the U.S. population.

Sprint’s network, used by Virgin, claims to cover about 278 million people or almost the entire country.

Leap will begin selling the phone on June 22 and charge $499.99 for a 16-gigabyte iPhone 4S and $399.99 for the older 8-gigabyte iPhone 4. Those prices are about $300 more than those sold by the major carriers, but $150 less than what Apple charges for an unlocked 16-gigabyte iPhone 4S.

Sprint already offers various models of the iPhone at the same prices as the other major carriers when customers sign a two-year contract. That includes an 8-gigabyte iPhone 4 at $99.99 and a 16-gigabyte iPhone 4S for $199.99.

In order to carry the phone, Leap struck a three-year deal with Apple under which it agreed to spend $900 million in volume purchases.

Virgin Mobile USA has prepaid plans that begin at $35 a month and offer unlimited data, although speeds will be throttled after the user consumes 2.5 gigabytes a month. It is unclear if the iPhone will be allowed to work on the current plans.

In comparison, Leap is charging $55 for unlimited talk, text and data, with a similar limit on full-speed data, while plans with other wireless carriers are frequently $100 or more, and users are locked into two-year contracts.

Sprint says its Virgin brand is directed toward “subscribers who are device and data-oriented.” Sprint acquired Virgin Mobile USA in 2009 for about $480 million.

 

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Apr 29

After many months of waiting the white version is now available in many countries. Apple issued a press release announcing availability on April 28th.

Now there are rumours that that the white device is 0.2 mm deeper than the black version.

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Feb 05

iPhone shipments grew just shy of 100%  in the fourth quarter on a year-over-year basis, giving its market share a nice jump. Source IDC.

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Oct 19

A recent survey by RBC Capital Markets asked 4,200 people what phone they used. According to their slightly shaky report 30% claimed an iPhone. This shows considerable growth since they last asked. Silicon Alley Insider had the results as their Graph of the Day.

iPhone market share

iPhone market share

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Sep 11

And Steve Jobs takes center stage and delivers and new iPods, latest version of iTunes and iPhone 3.1 software.

Jobs started by saying he now has the liver of a 20 something guy who died in a car crash.

He then showed a bunch of new features – key points.

30M iPhones sold to date.

iTunes now the largest music retailer in the world

iPod huge market share

The announced new nano with video recording.

New nano

New nano

New shuffle colours.

New Shuffle

New touch pricing.

New touch

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Aug 13

The fine and trusted folks at Gertner have shown what we all knew – the iPhone is one big seller. They report that global cell phone sales grew YoY 6% in Q2 09 to 286m units and Smartphones accounted for 40m units. This sector is growing at 27% YoY. The global handset market is dominated by the big 5: Nokia 37%, Samsung 20%, LG 10% Motorola 6% and Sony/Ericsson 5%.

However in smartphones the story is way different: Units shifted.

Nokia 18,441 at 45%

RIM 7,679 at 19%

Apple 5,435 at 13%

HTC 2,471 at 6%

But what’s interesting is the change from 08.

Nokia down 2% from  47% to 45%

RIM up 2% from 17% to 19%

Apple up 10% from 3% to 13%

See more at MacDaily News

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