Virgin now lets you bring your own iPhone to $1-a-year deal

The sweet offer announced in June that gives switchers a year of unlimited data for a dollar is now available to existing iPhone owners, not just new buyers.

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson takes the stage at the June launch of Inner Circle. 
Josh Miller/CNET

Virgin Mobile is continuing its courtship of Apple users in a big way.

Now any iPhone owner willing to switch to Virgin can get in on its deal of 12 months of unlimited data for $1.

When the deal launched in June, it was limited to those buying a new phone, which at the time was the real catch. Now, however, any iPhone owner who ports his or her number to Virgin will get the same deal.

After the first year, users are switched to the company's standard unlimited data plan at $50 month. They'll get an additional six months of service for $1, however, if they upgrade to a new phone.

But don't wait too long. Virgin didn't announce a deadline for the offer but said the deal is available for only a "short period of time."

Virgin, one of the prepaid arms of Sprint, first announced the $1-a-year service, dubbed Inner Circle, as part of a radical transformation, including no longer selling Android phones.

By going all-in on iPhones, Virgin Mobile is trying to lift its reputation and go after wealthier customers. The move also gets Virgin Mobile into Apple's retail stores, the first time a prepaid carrier has had a presence there.

The  $1 offer was less jaw-dropping after parent Sprint offered a year of free service. But the key difference is the Sprint offer is a low-key, limited experiment, while Virgin's deal is considered the new norm.