Sprint is expanding its phone leasing program to include more options for budget-conscious shoppers who are still interested in relatively frequent device upgrades. The fourth largest carrier in the United States has been offering leasing options for a good while now but has so far only targeted subscribers who wanted a Samsung or an Apple device. Sprint is now extending its offerings to more handsets in its portfolio, with the company announcing new Sprint Flex and Sprint Deals programs designed to offer more flexibility and affordability to consumers.
Getting a new smartphone can be an expensive affair and changing it once a year can involve hefty investments that not everybody can afford. To make things more affordable, Sprint came up with its new leasing options and is currently the only U.S. carrier to offer such perks. With Sprint Flex, Sprint's subscribers can lease any smartphone in the carrier's lineup and upgrade after one year. There's also a threshold at 18 months when customers can either return the smartphone, continue the lease, decide to pay the remaining price to purchase the device, or upgrade to a new one. Those who decide to buy the smartphone after an 18-month lease can either pay for it outright or in six monthly installments. With Sprint Deals, subscribers can enjoy that same flexibility and save some money in the process of doing so, with a range of "value menu" smartphones available at affordable prices, even without a credit check, the company says.
The move to expand its phone leasing options is part of a larger effort by Sprint to attract more customers and better compete against AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. Sprint already undercut rivals earlier this year with a competitive offer bundling five unlimited data lines for $90, and last month it offered a limited time deal for those willing to bring their own devices to its network. Since no other carrier offers device leasing options, Sprint is doubling down on its efforts to promote this ability, hoping it will help it stand out among its competitors. The company's new offering also includes its previously introduced leasing programs that allow annual upgrades – Galaxy Forever and iPhone forever.