If you are like me and are subscribed to Virgin Mobile’s SMS alerts, then you probably got this message the other day:
Starting 5/27/12, new smartphones will be subject to current plan rates. This will apply if you switch phones.
There was also a link to this site.
In short, here’s what they are going to do to those of us that were grandfathered into the $25 Beyond Talk Plan. If you keep your current Android phone and, by some miracle nothing should ever happen to it, you will be fine until Virgin Mobile decides to screw around with pricing structures yet again.
But chances are your phone will not last forever and you will need a new one. If you wish to retain your $25 Beyond Talk Plan then you will have to buy one of their current Android phones, not a model introduced after May 27, 2012. Upgrading to any phones released after that date will automatically bump you up to their $35 Beyond Talk Plan.
And as of this post, Virgin Mobile hasn’t added much to their Android lineup other than the Venture, a dull model that sports a smallish screen and physical QWERTY keyboard. My guess is that they will be introducing their latest phones, including one called the HTC One s in Canada, after May 27, 2012 in an attempt to entice us to upgrade and automatically enroll in their $35 plan.
UPDATE: Yes, I was right. According to this Engadget article, the HTC EVO 4G will be released sometime in June. This is what your new $35 Beyond Talk Plan will get you.
Also, the cut-off date is May 1 and not May 27. See this link.
If this doesn’t sound good to you (and it doesn’t to me), then you can stock up on a few current Android models and just swap them out when the old one dies. This will keep you at the $25 plan since they were models released before the cut-off date.
Or if you don’t use a lot of minutes, you can be like me and start to shop around for another comparable plan like Walmart’s exclusive T-Mobile prepaid plan:
For only $30/month, you get unlimited web and text plus 100 minutes. While you will take a hit on the minutes (300 vs. 100 for $5 more a month), you get the advantage of having the first 5GB at up to 4G. I can’t recall the last time I even came close to using 100 minutes so this plan would be perfect for me, and no other no-contract plan comes close. Not only that, but the features on the Samsung Exhibit II blow my Optimus V clear out of the water, the real advantage being 4GB internal memory and up to 32GB additional via microSD.
If you’re a Virgin Mobile customer, what do you plan to do? Stick around or move on? I’m kind of leaning toward the Walmart’s T-Mobile plan myself.