Virgin’s first Android phone now on sale

The Samsung Intercept, a phone that brings the Android operating system to Virgin Mobile’s prepaid service for the first time, is now available.

The device has a 3.2-inch touchscreen, a slide-out Qwerty keyboard, and Android 2.1. It will not be upgradeable to Android 2.2. It also has a 3.2-megapixel camera.

The Intercept first launched on Sprint earlier this year. Sprint owns Virgin Mobile and this marks the first time it has passed on an Android device to that service provider.

This launch represents a further expansion for Android as it makes a splash on the nation’s most widely used prepaid mobile carrier. That’s a market that has largely become synonymous with cheap phones for customers with low income. Thus they usually pack in cheap third-party operating systems.

By putting Android on a prepaid phone it demonstrates just how much of a critical mass it has reached.

For a no-contract phone, the price is pretty reasonable: $250.

The Intercept is available on store shelves at Target today. It will be making its way to other brick-and-mortar and online retailers later this month.