“The Helio Store is Closed”

6-26-08-helio.jpg

Update: Virgin Mobile is buying Helio, writes Reuters, for $39m.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2008, and Virgin Mobile said the Virgin Group and SK Telecom will each invest $25 million of equity capital in the company.

Here’s one for the Passive-Aggressive Notes Blog: Helio, the virtual cellular network, is edging closer to its demise. This note, shot by Denver resident Sue Marek, shows that retail outlets are wrapping things up – but also that other parts of the company might be here to stay.

The website’s still taking orders, but with only 200,000 subscribers, whither thou goest can’t be that far from contracting to just wither.

This would be a good chance for Sprint to shore up its subscriber count a little, were it not for the fact that Sprint does not let you activate Sprint-compatible phones sold by MVNOs that resell its bandwidth. That’s even true of Sprint-branded phones, such as those from Kajeet.

Photos: Helio Stores Close Up Shop [Fiercewireless via Engadget]

About Rob Beschizza

Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Email is dead, but you can try your luck at besc...@gmail.com
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7 Responses to “The Helio Store is Closed”

  1. Marshall says:

    I could have told you something like this was going to happen before Helio sold their first phone. Meh.

  2. subeo says:

    I’ve been a Helio member for about half a year, no complaints. I just now (today!) got an email from them saying that Virgin Mobile has bought them out. The result of this ostensibly will be that Virgin Mobile will be offering fancier phones, and I will be canceling my Helio plan and switching to Virgin Mobile anyways since they’re going to have a cheaper all-in plan in 3 days.

  3. lorraine_24 says:

    Well looks like the Virgin Mobile merger is brining more then just great distribution. Helio launched hybrid plans with no credit checks and no deposit requirements.

    http://www.prepaidhelio.com

  4. dhasenan says:

    Typo: It’s “whither”, not “wither”, for the first.

  5. Rob Beschizza says:

    Merci.

  6. Joel Johnson says:

    When I interviewed Sky Dayton at the Helio launch in 2006, I asked him why a company named Helio would have a flame instead of a sun for a logo. He said he’d never thought about that before. That’s attention to detail!

  7. Enochrewt says:

    A guy I know I know wouldn’t shut up about his Helio. He even went so far as to stick a goddamn sticker of the logo on my front door. I’m going to go rub all this in his stupid face, preferably with a baseball bat.

    And shouldn’t that sign say contact our customer support? Maybe the person got laid off just before they made the sign.

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