Sprint reportedly to offer its own annual smartphone upgrade plan

Sprint plans its own annual smartphone upgrade plan

T-Mobile JUMP. AT&T Next. Verizon Edge. Now Sprint, the United States' other major wireless carrier, is getting into the upgrade game with One Up, a new upgrade program to match the others. One Up is slated the same day that the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s go on sale - September 20, 2013, according to Cnet.

According to the report, Sprint's One Up will let you buy the phone you want with no money down, paid for in 24 installments. If you cancel your service early, you're responsible for the balance of the device cost, but after one year, you can upgrade to a new phone and start the clock over again.

What's more, One Up customers will get a $15 discount on Sprint's Unlimited, My Way or All-In plans. This offers Sprint customers a very palatable alternative to either AT&T or Verizon's upgrade programs - which enable you to upgrade but don't discount service. The report suggests it'll be even cheaper that T-Mobile's bargain-basement unlimited plan.

It was inevitable that Sprint would need to follow suit with the other U.S. carriers, but it's a bit surprising that it's taken them this long to get a program together: T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T announced out their respective plans in July within a couple weeks of one another.

However, it's not coincidental that Sprint is announcing this the same time that the new iPhones go on sale - a lot of customers of all four companies are going to be looking around for the best deal before committing to pay for a new phone. Major events like an iPhone release are a significant opportunity for customer churn, so Sprint is very interested in retaining as many of its customers as it can, as well as adding some new customer to the rolls.

Smartphones can be really expensive, and these upgrade plans make it easier for cash-strapped smartphone users to get the latest hardware as painlessly as possible. The upgrade plans are also a strong incentive for customers to stay loyal.

The One Up deal isn't official yet, and a representative contacted by Cnet refused to comment. But assuming it's legit, One Up should give penny-pinching smartphone shoppers a strong reason to consider America's third-largest wireless carrier.

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Peter Cohen

Mac Managing Editor of iMore and weekend Apple Product Professional at a local independent Apple reseller. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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Reader comments

Sprint reportedly to offer its own annual smartphone upgrade plan


Hmm... actually sounds good, so far. We'll see once all the numbers are in..

The discount on Sprints the All-in plan(includes 5gb tethering), $110/mo down to $95 a month is still more expensive than t-mobile. Tmo is $70/mo for unlimited(includes 2.5 gb tethering now) + $20/mo for phone. With Sprint you're still paying for the phone on top of the $95/mo.. Probably around $20-30/mo; depending on the phone you pick.

Sooooo, this is what I think it will look like with their Unlimited plans compared.

T-mobile: $70/mo + $15-22/mo + $10/mo for Jump = ~ $102
- (Also doubles as Warranty)

Sprint: $95/mo + $20-30/mo = ~ $125
- (I think higher because downpayment and doubles as One Up plan / phone payment)

Not too big of a difference if above numbers for Sprint prove true.

But at least it's not a complete rape fest like AT&T and Verizon.

Thanks, Peter! I'm on Sprint and plan on getting the 5S Friday, so I'd like to know exactly how this plan works, so please keep us updated!

Sounds like an option, if only sprint were a reliable/fast enough network around here to consider it. I don't care if its free... With the network reliability my parents have with their 4S's on sprints network (having to go outside to make/take a call and text messages they send me taking 1-2 weeks at times for me to receive them), it's not even an option.

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Too bad Sprint still sucks! They still don't have LTE in my area and never even flipped the switch on WiMax! What a bunch of lame-o's.

Listen - that may be a good deal - but I've been on Sprint since the 4s came out, and can't wait to get off my contract. In fact, I have it circled on all my calendars.

I live in Nashville. I work near a university that has Sprint towers on campus. I get full bars. And the data NEVER works. It takes forever to send text messages. Maps never download. There is a stretch on my drive home where I never have any data.

This has been a horrible experience. I'm not the only one in town that feels this way.

To be honest - you could give me a Sprint phone and service for free - and I would turn it down. Its just not worth the headache I've had. I never thought it could be as bad as others said - but it is.

sounds like theres some serious issues. i mean im in TN too. East TN to be exact (Johnson City) and I have full bars and data is not an issue with my iPhone 4s and yeah Ive been with them since the 4s came out.

I love my note but I'm in too deep with the IOS and Apple ecosystem. I have an iPad and Mac. I use iTunes to manage my music library. I have so many friends and family with iOS devices with iMessage and photo stream.

Sprint service is the worse. I live in north jersey right outside and of NYC and we still don't have any LTE coverage. 3G speeds are unusable and ridiculously slow. I will be leaving for AT