According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Sprint is preparing to announce the iPhone on its no-contract, prepaid Virgin Mobile carrier this week with a launch as early as July 1. The move would make Sprint the second carrier to offer the iPhone on a prepaid basis following an announcement from Leap Wireless last week about its intentions to begin selling prepaid iPhones on its Cricket brand starting June 22. Perhaps more interesting is Virgin’s $35/month all you can eat Data plan which would be by far the cheapest option for iPhone use in the US.

Sprint Nextel Corp. is set to become the second U.S. mobile-phone carrier to offer Apple Inc.’s iPhone on a pay-as-you-go basis… Sprint will announce this week it will offer the popular smartphone on its Virgin Mobile pay-as-you-go brand as soon as July 1, according to people familiar with the company’s plans.

While pricing for the Virgin Mobile iPhone is not available, Cricket will offer the 8GB iPhone 4 for $399 and the 16GB iPhone 4S for $499 with the $55 a month unlimited plan. Virgin currently has prepaid plans starting at $35 a month with 2.5 GB cap before being throttled. Cricket’s markets only cover about 60 million people, as noted by The Wall Street Journal, when compared to Sprint’s coverage of nearly the entire United States.

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Following the announcement from Leap/Cricket, an Apple spokesperson provided the statement below:

“By making iPhone available on pre-paid plans through Cricket Wireless, we are making the best smartphone more accessible to an even broader market in the US,” Apple representative Natalie Harrison said.

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