Apple may be brewing up a pre-paid iPhone for October. Wednesday, Sprint-owned Virgin Mobile announced starting in October it was dropping ‘unlimited’ data plans for prepaid customers in favor of ‘unlimited with throttling.’

“Beginning in October 2011, Virgin Mobile will also move to reduce data speeds when a customer’s data usage exceeds 2.5GB in a month,” Sprint announced. Virgin will still offer unlimited prepaid 3G, though.

The throttling is expected to affect “fewer than 3 percent of Virgin Mobile USA customers,” the carrier assured. However, the change could mean slower page loads, file downloads and media streaming.

The news follows a Tuesday report that AT&T in October will change its iPhone insurance plans, due to a new tier of phones. The change suggests the carrier is also making plans for a prepaid Apple handset. Last week, Verizon Wireless also dropped its unlimited data plan.

Earlier this year, Apple COO Tim Cook said the tech giant was not ceding any market, understand pricing was a big factor in the prepaid arena.

Apple is expected to announce a new handset in August or September, perhaps including a prepaid option.


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