Virgin Mobile will begin selling the iPhone 5c and 5s starting October 1--the earliest the company has ever begun sales during an iPhone's product cycle.
The company made its announcement on Friday, just a week after the phones went on sale at major wireless carriers, and just three months after Virgin began selling the iPhone 5. Similarly, the company didn't begin offering the iPhone 4 and 4s until June of 2012, just as the 5 was getting ready to market.
Virgin Mobile's earlier arrival during this iPhone generation may signal changes to the pre-paid wireless market. In both of the previous years, the company followed Cricket in offering the phones with pre-paid plans--by just a month in 2012, but by a full nine months for the iPhone 5. So far, Cricket parent company Leap Wireless has been quiet about its plans.
Virgin offers three plans for the iPhone: $35 per month for 300 talk minutes, $45 per month for 1200 talk minutes, and $55 a month for unlimited talk time. All plans come with unlimited messaging and data, and Virgin even drops the monthly price by another $5 if you set up auto-pay.
Though Virgin didn't say Friday how much it will sell the new phones for, the company has sold previous versions at subsidy-free prices--the iPhone 5, for example, still sells for $550 on the Virgin Mobile site.