Sprint said it is launching new leasing options for customers who want to upgrade their devices more often, as competition in an oversaturated US market heats up.
Customers will be able to lease any phone and upgrade it after a year. Previously, this could only be done with iPhones and Samsung Galaxy devices.
After 18 months, they will have the choice to purchase their devices by paying the remaining amount in one go, or over six months.
“We want to give full flexibility to our customers because you don’t want to get stuck with an old phone,” Robert Hackl, Sprint’s SVP of leasing, told Reuters.
Sprint is the only operator in the US which leases devices. Reuters quoted Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics, as saying: “It’s about lowering the cost for the consumer. What’s in it for the carrier is people with new devices are happier. They are getting access to the new capabilities of the network.”
“Considering that they’re more in an M&A mindset, they need a growing company,” he added.
In June it was reported Sprint is in talks with Comcast and Charter Communications about a partnership to boost the cable companies’ mobile ambitions, as the operator put the brakes on merger talks with T-Mobile US.
Sprint had reportedly begun informal merger talks with T-Mobile US after key executives from both sides indicated that they would be open to a potential deal.
Indeed, a Reuters report noted Sprint sees a partnership with the cable companies as increasing competition in the US market, and could help with any antitrust concerns if a merger with T-Mobile US emerges.
Sprint also recently began offering free unlimited services for Verizon users switching to its network, stepping up the battle for unlimited tariff customers.