Sprint has finally joined in the race of carrier upgrade programs with their new “One Up” plan. The Sprint One Up program will go head-to-head against T-Mobile Jump, AT&T Next and Verizon’s Edge early upgrade programs that launched in July. Sprint’s upgrade program will give customers the ability to purchase new devices every 12 months by choosing to enter a financing agreement for a phone over 24 months.
Sprint One Up Details
The new One Up program shares the most similarities to the T-Mobile JUMP option rather than the AT&T and Verizon programs. Both plans require you to pay monthly installment fees, but offer a discount on monthly plan pricing. Sprint customers will receive a $15 break on the plan in exchange for a monthly installment model. However unlike T-Mobile, the plan will not carry a monthly upgrade fee like T-Mobile JUMP charges. But you should take into consideration that JUMP does give you included insurance while Sprint will charge you $11 for it, which almost cancels out your actual savings.
Is One Up A Good Deal?
Let’s compare One Up against its closest competitor JUMP from T-Mobile. With T-Mobile JUMP you will pay $23 per month for the phone, $70 per month for the plan, $10 month for JUMP and $99 for the device. This totals out at $1335 after one year. The Sprint plan will cost you $27 per month for the phone, $65 ($80-$15 discount) per month for the plan, $11 for insurance and $0 for the device. This totals out to be $1236 after one year of use. The total savings of $99 that Sprint does not charge you when upgrading to your new device.
Is It Better To Sign A 2-Year Contract?
Just like when you lease a car, you don’t end up owning anything at the end of the plan while paying a monthly financing charge. After you have spent your $324 ($27 x 12), you are now given the privilege of getting a new device at $0 down. With a traditional 2-year contract you would pay $199 (latest iPhone price) for the phone, but you would own it the moment you left the store. Come upgrade time if you were to trade that iPhone to Gazelle, you could about $350* for it. Since your new device would cost you $649 up front (full price of the latest iPhone), you would still have to pay $299 ($649 – $350 = $299) instead of the normal $199. Although trading in your device will help take a big bite out of the upgrade cost, constantly upgrading can get real expensive. At the end of the day if you only plan on getting one device every 2 years, any of these upgrade programs will cost you a lot more over time.
*Estimated value of an iPhone during peak trade-in time, prices are subject to change.
Sprint One Up Availability
The program will be available to existing customers who have been on contract for at least a year. Current customers still on contract must trade in their existing phones, unless they are already up for a discounted upgrade. So far all the news on the program are just leaks and rumors, with no official word from Sprint yet. The new plan is said to launch on September 20th which just happens to be the same day as the iPhone 5S and 5C launch. For the carrier that showed up late to the upgrade party, they couldn’t have picked a better time to start.
UPDATE: Sprint have now officially launched the new “One Up” program today. Full details can be found here on the Sprint press release.