Virgin Mobile USA, Sprint's prepaid subsidiary, has started selling the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus after a five-month hiatus limiting its device offerings to Android smartphones and feature phones.

And to celebrate the comeback of Apple's iPhones on Virgin Mobile's shelves, the prepaid carrier is offering the premium-priced phones for a hefty $100 discount. That means the 16GB iPhone 6 will now cost $549, down from the $649 Apple and other retailers charge for the flagship handset. Meanwhile, the iPhone 6 Plus, also the 16GB variant, is now $649, less an entire hundred bucks from $749.

Virgin Mobile has also started selling the iPhone 5c, for a heavily discounted price of $299. Currently, Apple sells an unlocked and contract-free version of brightly-colored iPhone 5c on its online store for $450.

However, only the 16GB versions of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are available, and customers will only be able to purchase the Space Gray version of the iPhone 6 and the Gold version of the iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhone 5c, meanwhile, is available only in white, and there are no storage options beyond the 8GB available at Virgin Mobile.

The return of the iPhone to the prepaid carrier comes at a curious timing, especially since both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are nearly one year old and the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are expected for their big debut in September. However, the flagship iPhones are certainly a pair of handsets with great technology, and Virgin Mobile's offer is definitely a good deal for many people who are not fussy about getting only the latest smartphones for themselves, especially when combined with Virgin Mobile's low-cost prepaid plans starting at $30 per month.

As a refresher, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus run on Apple's dual-core A8 processor paired with 1GB of RAM. The smaller iPhone 6 has a display resolution of 750 x 1,334 pixels, while its bigger brother has a Full HD display. Both phones' displays are protected by ion-strengthened glass with oleophobic coating.

On the rear panel is an 8MP iSight camera that is named by DxOMark as the second best phone camera in the world, only second to the camera of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. This is paired with a 1.2MP front camera for FaceTime. Both phones come with a fingerprint sensor and are NFC-equipped, enabling their users to pay for online and physical purchases with Apple Pay.

Meanwhile, the iPhone 5c, which was released in September 2013, has a 4-inch display with a resolution of 640 x 1,136 pixels. It runs on Apple's older A6 processor with 1GB of RAM and has the same 8MP and 1.2MP cameras on the front and back.

Photo: Kārlis Dambrāns | Flickr

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