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Apple Adds Virgin Mobile to its List of Domestic Carriers

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Per Reuters, after a span of nearly four years, Apple Inc AAPL has added a new carrier – Virgin Mobile USA. 

Reportedly, customers will get a year’s service for as cheap as $1 upon buying a new/ refurbished iPhone from Virgin/Apple. After that, customers will have to shell out a $50 service cost per month.

According to media reports, Virgin Mobile will be selling iPhone models (SE, 6, 6S, 6S Plus, 7 & 7 Plus) on par with Apple’s price points. However, the SE model (32 and 128 GB configuration) and iPhone 6 (32 GB) will carry discounts.

At present, Apple sells AT&T T, Verizon (VZ - Free Report) , Sprint S and T-Mobile phones and now the latest Virgin phones will be also be available in stores. Virgin phones will eventually be available online as well.

Interestingly, Tech Crunch points out that the $1 deal is not exactly as good as it is made to sound. The one-year service for $1 is offer is valid till Jul 31, 2017. After that, it becomes a $1 plan with a validity of six months. Users will also need to “port” their number to Virgin’s Inner Circle Plan.

More importantly, customers who use more than 23 GB of data in one cycle will have their data speed slowing down. Tech Crunch further adds that the company will have the right to sever connection if a customer’s “off-network roaming usage” crosses 800 voice call minutes/100 MB of data roaming. 

It is also reported that post the iPhone collaboration, Virgin Mobile will no longer be available for Android phones. The deal will make it the sole iPhone carrier in the country.

Virgin Mobile USA is a subsidiary of Sprint. However, it “licenses” its name from the Virgin Group, co-led by British billionaire, Richard Branson. Reuters adds that the collaboration with Apple will help Virgin Group to bring Virgin Mobile in line with its other brands that cater to “upscale” customers. At present, Virgin Mobile is considered a “downmarket” brand as it offers just pre-paid phones.

Branson was quoted by media reports saying “Virgin has always looked to shake things up and challenge the status quo in any sector we go into. 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.”

Zacks Rank & Stock Price Movement

At present, Apple carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

In the last one year, shares of the company have registered growth of 51.8% compared with the Zacks categorized Computer Mini industry’s gain of 50.5%.

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