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Virgin Mobile opening first 10 retail stores on Friday, could prompt rollout

Chicago -- A Thursday report by Bloomberg said that the Sprint-owned pay-as-you-go carrier Virgin Mobile will open 10 retail stores on Friday in Chicago, as part of its plan to leverage iPhone’s expansion into the prepaid wireless space.
 
With the openings, Virgin Mobile will become the second U.S. prepaid service to offer the Apple device, following the iPhone’s debut at Leap Wireless International on June 22.

The new stores, said the Bloomberg report, also mark a strategy shift for Virgin by opening its own stores rather than relying on retailers such as RadioShack and Best Buy to market its services.

“We think there’s good demand for high-end devices like the iPhone in the prepaid market,” Sprint CEO Dan Hesse told Bloomberg. “Our expectation, based on preorders, is that the iPhone will do very well on Virgin.”

Spring said the 10 Chicago stores opening Friday could lead to a national rollout.
 

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