With two-year contract pricing for the 16GB iPhone 5c set at $99, Sprint's offer covers the entire cost of the handset, making the unit basically free-on-contract. As noted by TUAW, the deal is good for any new phone, including the iPhone 5s.
Only new customers porting numbers over to Sprint can take advantage of the offer, which runs through Oct. 10.
From Sprint's website:
Port-in Instant Credit: Offer ends 10/10/2013. Up to $100 instant credit applied towards purchase of qualifying Sprint phone or smartphone. May require port-in from an active number (wireless or landline) and activation at time of purchase. Excludes tablets, upgrades, replacements, and ports made between Sprint entities or providers associated with Sprint (i.e., Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, Sprint As You Go and Assurance), all Corporate-liable and plans $10 or less.
The announcement follows a rumor from earlier today that claimed Sprint would be initiating an early upgrade program just in time for the new iPhones' rollout on Friday.
Under the so-called One Up plan, the carrier will allow existing subscribers to nab a new iPhone with no money down. The handset's cost is then divided into monthly payments to be paid over the contract's two-year term. If the offer is activated this Friday, all four major U.S. cellular carriers will have similar early upgrade programs that allow users to spread a phone's up-front cost across the life of their subscription plans.
It appears that Apple's latest iPhones have fueled aggressive plays for subscriber share in both domestic and international markets. A report on Friday, for example, noted Japanese carriers are embroiled in a pricing war that has seen the country's three major carriers, NTT DoCoMo, SoftBank, and KDDI, put up the iPhone 5s for free with a two-year contract. Some speculate the deals are a result of the nation's largest carrier DoCoMo's announcement that it would be carrying the iPhone for the first time ever.