Jun 21, 2017

Richard Branson helps Sprint relaunch Virgin Mobile as iPhone-only brand

Sprint is trying to remake its Virgin Mobile prepaid brand, focusing on the iPhone and perks tied to the broader Virgin brand, including discounts on Virgin airlines, hotels and wines. The company announced plans for a new "Inner Circle" offering that offers those who buy an iPhone six months of wireless service for just $1 (and an additional six months free for those who sign up by July 31.)

Virgin Group head Richard Branson was on hand at an event in San Francisco where Sprint announced the move.

"We're committed to innovating," Branson said, rattling off a list of Virgin's current efforts ranging from electric race cars to space travel. Branson said he challenged Sprint two years ago to make better use of the Virgin brand and is pleased to see the company doing so.

Why it matters: Sprint has been looking for some time to reposition Virgin, one of two prepaid brands it has. (It also sells service under the Boost Mobile moniker.) Competition in that space has been tough since T-Mobile bought MetroPCS and AT&T purchased Cricket, not to mention just generally brutal price pressure in the cell phone market.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 5,931,112 — Total deaths: 357,929 — Total recoveries — 2,388,172Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 1,711,313 — Total deaths: 101,129 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. States: New York to allow private businesses to deny entry to customers without masks.
  4. Public health: Louisiana Sen. Cassidy wants more frequent testing of nursing home workers.
  5. Congress: Pelosi slams McConnell on stimulus delay — Sen. Tim Kaine and wife test positive for coronavirus antibodies.
  6. Tech: Twitter fact-checks Chinese official's claims that coronavirus originated in U.S.
  7. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Twitter fact-checks Chinese official's claims that coronavirus originated in U.S.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter slapped a fact-check label on a pair of months-old tweets from a Chinese government spokesperson that falsely suggested that the coronavirus originated in the U.S. and was brought to Wuhan by the U.S. military, directing users to "get the facts about COVID-19."

Why it matters: The labels were added after criticism that Twitter had fact-checked tweets from President Trump about mail-in voting, but not other false claims from Chinese Communist Party officials and other U.S. adversaries.

Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter, round two

President Trump is escalating his response to Twitter’s fact check of his recent tweets about mail-in voting, issuing an executive order that's designed to begin limiting social media's liability protections. Dan digs in with Axios' Margaret Harding McGill.

Go deeper: Twitter vs. Trump... vs. Twitter

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy