After Leap, Virgin to offer iPhone 4S for $649

As expected, Virgin Mobile USA has followed Leap Wireless to offer Apple Inc’s iPhone on prepaid.

It said it will offer the iPhone beginning Friday, June 29. Virgin Mobile will offer iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. iPhone will be available without a contract and with no fees for activation or roaming, it said.

The iPhone 4S will cost $650 (see chart for details) and the iPhone 4 will cost $549.

Virgin Mobile’s Beyond Talk unlimited data and messaging plans for iPhone start at $35 per month for access to Sprint’s Nationwide Network, and customers can receive a $5 per-month plan discount when they register for automatic monthly payments with a credit card, debit card or PayPal account, making iPhone available for as low as $30 per month. Customers can also use their iPhone as a mobile hotspot through Virgin Mobile for an additional $15 per month.3

See the chart above for details of the plan.

Earlier Leap Wireless had become the first U.S. operator to offer the iPhone without a regular and binding contract. Leap offered the latest iPhone, the 4S, for about $500.

Leap also announced the move will cost it nearly $900 million over three years. The iPhone is estimated to cost about $650 for the 4S model.

Other carriers like AT&T and Verizon offer the iPhone for about $200. However, they tie subscribers to costly monthly plans for about 2 years in return for giving the phone at a cheaper rate.

The prepaid iPhone from Virgin and Leap are likely to appeal to subscribers who do not want to be tied to a single service or who want lower monthly bills.