According to a report by Wave7 Research and then picked up by Fierce Wireless, the fourth biggest wireless carrier in America has apparently decided to shut down its leasing program for Android powered mobile devices. In a note released to subscribers, Wave7 Research has stated that Sprint has stopped selling Android handsets on lease, and has even discontinued its leasing program for Samsung’s latest flagships, the Galaxy S7 devices, just a few days ago. The firm further revealed that while the leasing option was made available for the Galaxy Note 5 phablet, Sprint ceased sales of the device last month, right around the time Samsung officially launched its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.
But what about iOS powered mobile devices? Apple fans may be relieved to know that the major US wireless carrier has opted to keep offering its leasing option for more recent iPhone devices, such as the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus, as well as this year’s newest models, the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus.
While Sprint has declined to confirm or deny the discontinuation of its leasing program for Android devices, it has chosen instead to funnel the customers’ attention to its equipment installment plan, which offers $0 down (for eligible users), zero interest option on the wireless carrier’s installment billing product present on all its devices.
Last year, Marcelo Claure, the chief executive officer of Sprint, did say that the wireless carrier was looking to completely adopt a device leasing structure before the end of this year, and essentially shift away from offering standard two year agreements. Back in January early this year, the mobile operator finally got rid of its two year agreements and replaced them with a device leasing option. But after one month, however, the company reverted to two year agreements.
As for a device leasing model, it could contribute immensely in alleviating Sprint’s current financial woes. Back in November of last year, the wireless carrier claimed that it would get $1.1 billion in funding from a device leasing firm that had been set up by parent company SoftBank plus other investor entities. The aim of the move was to put the financing of leased handsets off Sprint’s balance sheet and bring more liquidity to the wireless carrier. Sprint has also taken advantage of a similar approach in trying to leverage its network assets. But the financial gains of the leasing model appears to have been not enough for Sprint to keep on exploring the leasing option, at least not with mobile devices that run on Google’s Android mobile operating system.
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