We posted something regarding this subject almost three months ago, but it appears that the topic has surfaced again. Just recently, an internal memo has reportedly leaked, and it seems to indicate that the fourth biggest wireless carrier in America is planning, yet again, to get rid of its traditional two year subsidized smartphone contract, effective on August 26th of this year. Starting on August 26th, new subscribers, or those existing customers of Sprint that are planning to upgrade or get an additional line of service, will be required to purchase handsets under leasing or Easy Pay installment plans, or pay upfront their device’s full price.
Still, for those mobile users who want to avail of a two year smartphone contract, they may still have a means for doing exactly that. As indicated in the leaked internal memo (courtesy of Phone Arena), mobile devices that are subsidized will no longer be made available in Sprint retail outlets, but mobile users are still free to buy handsets on-contract by way of the major US wireless carrier’s online or telesales channels. To be clear about it, the leaked internal memo only applies to smartphone devices. Indeed, two year contracts for tablets and mobile broadband devices will still be offered through all of Sprint’s channels, whether they be through physical retail stores or via online sales.
It bears noting that Sprint has done something like this before, i.e. ending its two year smartphone contract option, only to resurrect it at a later time. But if the leaked internal memo turns out to be true, then Sprint would follow in the footsteps of the other three members of the Big Four, namely Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and T-Mobile, each of whom have already eliminated contract options for new handset purchases, albeit the Big Red is still letting subscribers under grandfathered contracts upgrade with two year pricing. So, what options do remain for mobile users? Basically, they are left with purchasing handsets at full retail price, paying off their device month to month via Sprint’s Easy Pay, or signing on for Sprint Lease. Regarding Sprint Lease, those who go for this option will have to complete monthly lease payments over a period of 18 or 24 months, and then afterwards, they can decide to hand back the smartphone, pay additional and own the device, or opt to keep on leasing. Those who are under the iPhone Forever leasing plan can choose to trade up any time after making their first twelve payments.
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