Your remedy for iPhone envy

Posted: October 12, 2011

Do you have iPhone dreams but not an iPhone budget?

You want an iPhone. Your kids want an iPhone. But your budget is tight. As you debate whether you can afford the new iPhone 4S, you see that the iPhone 4 is only $99 and the iPhone 3GS is free. A price of $99 for an iPhone sounds cheap and free is even better, but before you rush out to get one, consider the cost of the plans.

The iPhone has serious competition from other smartphones with plans that will make your wallet smile.

The Beyond Talk plan from Virgin Mobile is: $35 a month for unlimited texts, unlimited data (connecting to the Internet without WiFi) and 300 voice minutes. Beyond Talk is even cheaper than a plan with only voice minutes on other carriers.

You can save about $1,000 over two years by getting a smartphone with the Beyond Talk plan over what other carriers charge for iPhone plans.


Virgin Mobile

 AT&TVerizonSprintVoice minutes$35/300$39.99/450$39.99/450$79.99/450Unlimited textsIncluded$20$20IncludedDataUnlimited included$25/2GB$30/2GBUnlimited IncludedTwo-year cost$840.00$1799.76$2159.76$1919.76

Savings with

Virgin Mobile


What else you should know:

1. No commitment. You don't have to commit to a two-year contract with Virgin Mobile to get this deal.

2. Phone choices. Virgin Mobile has a very limited selection of phones that work with this plan, but they include smartphones such as Android and BlackBerry models. You can't use the iPhone with this plan. A new Android phone, the LG Optimus Slider, will be available from Virgin Mobile beginning next week.

3. Unlimited data and texts. Unlimited data and texts are included with the Beyond Talk plan. Unlimited data is no longer offered as an option for AT&T and Verizon plans.

4. Coverage. Virgin Mobile uses Sprint Nationwide coverage, but check the coverage map for your area at the Virgin Mobile website to make sure you'll have reception in your area.

5. Additional voice minutes. If you want more than 300 minutes of talk time, check out the 1,200-minute Beyond Talk plan for $45 a month.

How do you get the 1,200-minute plan?

To sign up for the Beyond Talk plan and get your new phone, you can either visit the Virgin Mobile website,, or head to Radio Shack and sign up there. Radio Shack is currently offering the LG Optimus V Android phone for $20 cheaper than Virgin Mobile is charging for the phone on its website.

T-Mobile announced earlier this month a plan that will be available in Wal-Mart stores beginning Sunday. The plan is $30 a month and offers unlimited 4G data, unlimited texts and 100 voice minutes, and does not require a commitment.

Further details will be available at launch, such as which phones will be offered with this plan. If you don't talk a lot on your phone, this might be the best plan for you.

Contact Carolyn Nicander Mohr at Read her blog at


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