Update: Virgin just went live with the iPhone on their website a day early

Virgin Mobile plans to open 10 retail stores tomorrow in Chicago to make the most of the iPhone’s launch on its pay-as-you-go service. The Sprint Nextel Corp.-owned business is the second U.S. prepaid carrier to offer the iPhone, after Leap Wireless International Inc., and its new Windy City stores are a prime opportunity to market—and capitalize on— the iOS smartphone.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek:

The new stores also mark a strategy shift for Virgin, which has previously relied on retailers such as RadioShack Corp. and Best Buy Co. to market its service, said Jeff Auman, a vice president at the carrier.

[…] The carrier will begin selling the iPhone online today, with the stores opening tomorrow. The 10 Chicago outlets could lead to a national rollout, the company said.

Virgin offers the iPhone 4S for $649, while the iPhone 4 sells for $549, with monthly plans starting at $30 with a $5 discount is available for customers who enroll in automatic monthly payments.

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