Richard Branson dishes on Virgin, space and the Obamas

British billionaire Richard Branson's prolific Virgin brand has spanned a broad range of businesses, including record stores, banks, phones, airlines and spaceships.

He's now trying to help Sprint revitalize its Virgin Mobile brand in a U.S. wireless market that's gotten so competitive that unlimited-data deals, once rare, are the norm. Discounts and freebies are plentiful at the major wireless carriers.

Virgin Mobile is phasing out Android phones and transforming itself into an iPhone-only carrier with an eye-catching price: Buy an iPhone and pay $1 for unlimited data for six months (or one year if you sign up by the end of July). Service normally is $50 a month.

Branson spoke with The Associated Press about the Virgin brand and why loving an airline may or may not nudge someone into switching phone carriers. Questions and answers have been edited for length and clarity.



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