Virgin Mobile just became an iPhone-only carrier

Virgin Mobile has announced its newest cellular plan, which provides unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data for $50/month exclusively for iPhone owners.

Dubbed the "Inner Circle," those who join Virgin Mobile's new network (and buy a new iPhone to go with it) will receive six months of the service for $1 (not $1/month, but $1 for all six months) — or a full year for $1 if they sign up by Monday, July 31.

Virgin Mobile will also offer other Virgin-branded perks for Inner Circle members, which includes a free night at select Virgin Hotels locations, discounts on the Virgin Wine club, and a free companion ticket for Virgin Atlantic flights to the UK.

Welcome to the Inner Circle

While the service claims to offer unlimited talk, text and data, there appear to be some constraints

Video and music streams, for example, may experience "deprioritization" down to 480p and 500 kbps, respectively, when the network is congested.

Calls outside the US are also not included, with unlimited service to Canada and Mexico starting at an additional $5/month, or $10/month for an expanded international package that includes both unlimited landline calls in over 70 countries and 200 minutes of mobile calling in over 50 countries.

Additionally, the Inner Circle deal applies only to the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, and iPhone SE — though the offer will extend to refurbished iPhones (referred to by Virgin Mobile as "pre-loved") alongside a 12-month guarantee later this fall.

What about Android?

While Virgin Mobile is serious about making a exclusive commitment to Apple, the carrier isn't totally pulling the carpet from underneath Android owners.

"As for our existing Virgin Mobile customers, nothing changes for them," Justin Scott, Virgin Mobile's director of communications, tells TechRadar. "They will continue to receive the same great service and that will never change."

Scott also adds that retailers such as Best Buy, Target and Walmart will still carry Android devices alongside Virgin Mobile's Data Love plans — though not indefinitely.

"Over time, we will begin to phase out all Android devices," says Scott. "While we love our partners in the Android ecosystem and care deeply about our Android customers, the Inner Circle is a path to a different future." 

Parker Wilhelm
Parker Wilhelm is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He likes to tinker in Photoshop and talk people's ears off about Persona 4.