Virgin Mobile plans to offer prepaid iPhone

Sprint service follows Leap Wireless' Cricket with plans to sell the popular Apple smartphone for use on a pay-as-you-go service, sources tell the Wall Street Journal.

Sprint's Virgin Mobile will soon sell the iPhone for prepaid use. Apple

Cricket will soon have some competition in the prepaid iPhone market .

Sprint's Virgin Mobile plans to sell Apple's smartphone for use on a pay-as-you-go basis, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Sprint is expected to announce later this week that the prepaid carrier will offer the iPhone as early as July 1, sources tell the Journal.

Leap Wireless' Cricket announced last week that it would begin selling the iPhone on June 22 for use on its prepaid wireless service. No pricing details were discussed for Sprint's offering, but Cricket plans to sell the 16GB iPhone 4S for $499.99, while the 8GB iPhone 4 for $399.99.

Cricket's no-contract plan, which costs $55 a month, includes unlimited calling and text messages and includes 2.3GB of data, after which the carrier will throttle, or slow the connection down. There was no word on what Virgin Mobile's monthly charge would be, but the carrier already offers a similar plan for $35 a month with 2.5GBs of data before throttling.

The Journal suggested that the arrangement could help it fulfill its commitment to buy $15.5 billion worth of iPhones during the next four years.

CNET has contacted Sprint for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

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