Sprint to launch new 'iPhone for Life' rental option and special subscription plan

in iPhone edited September 2014
U.S. wireless carrier Sprint on Tuesday announced a new iPhone hardware rental plan dubbed "iPhone for Life," in which customers pay a flat monthly fee to "rent" Apple's device rather than buy it outright.

Recently appointed Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure informed Re/code of the iPhone-only plans created to take advantage of high consumer demand for Apple's handsets. With today's iPhone 6 unveiling bringing substantial media hype, Sprint took the opportunity to divulge the details of its new initiative.

"I think a product like that deserves different treatment," Claure said.

The plan's terms require a $20 per month rental fee for base model iPhones, with more expensive versions like the iPhone 6 Plus or those with more onboard storage running extra. Because the device is being rented, not purchased, customers can avoid paying sales tax on the full unsubsidized phone cost.

Similar to the competition, Sprint will also be offering a trade-in service, allowing subscribers to swap out their iPhone for a new version every 24 months.

Along with the hardware rental scheme, Sprint is starting up an iPhone-only wireless plan that includes unlimited talk, text and data for a $50 monthly fee. It is unclear if the plan will be offered to those customers who plan to buy their unit, or who already own an iPhone.

Alternatively, subscribers still have the option to pay full price for their iPhone or finance the device for $30 per month.


  • Reply 1 of 15




  • Reply 2 of 15

    What have you got against that? I actually think its a great idea because it'll give people the time to try out the phone and then see whether or not they like it. Kind of like test-driving a car. It's a good move that I think should be adopted for all phones and all carriers. It'd mean the death of the terrors of choice-on-sight and then the potential guilt following the decision to part company with cash you regret spending on something you don't like in practice.

  • Reply 3 of 15
    6 months from now, former US Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure ...
  • Reply 4 of 15
    Wait -- doesn't this work out to where you are paying about full price plus returning the phone so they can resell it?
  • Reply 5 of 15
    aka "Poor network for Life" plan.
  • Reply 6 of 15
    negafox wrote: »
    Wait -- doesn't this work out to where you are paying about full price plus returning the phone so they can resell it?

    YUP, not to different from a car lease where you pay for it but never own it.
  • Reply 7 of 15
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,885member
    This kind of deal works only in an innumerate country where the customers can't even do the simple math to figure out that in the end it all costs the same and in fact the ones that seem 'cheaper' sometimes actually cost more.
  • Reply 8 of 15
    msuberly wrote: »
    aka "Poor network for Life" plan.
    Poor as in poor network performance, (around where I live it's awful) or designed for those with less disposable income ( who may be hoodwinked into thinking its cheaper. In the ling run)?
  • Reply 9 of 15
    I have sprint, the network is terrible where I live.
  • Reply 10 of 15

    Not a bad deal.  Maybe a little more, but you're paying $480 per phone less some discount on present value, albeit at near-zero current interest rates.  For people with things to do in life besides shop for a phone and stand at a counter for an hour, it's not much of a convenience fee.


    The alternative is bring your own device and put it on a credit card if you can't just pay for it up front.  At similar cost.


    If it includes a warranty, or if they'd add that for 5 bucks, it would be a real deal.  It's the same as the original AT&T deal really, stated a different way.

  • Reply 11 of 15
    512ke512ke Posts: 782member
    A problem is that if you crack the screen of a rented phone, you'll have to repair or replace it.

    If you crack the screen of a phone you own, you can just suck up and use it damaged, or go back to some old phone you have in your drawer.
  • Reply 12 of 15
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,807member

    I personally prefer to own my phones because they work out free or actually a small profit for me. But I can see the appeal of people that want a new iPhone every year. I am with Sprint not solely because it is cheaper but also because I have zero complaints about the service. YMMV but for me it works fine.


    The new plan is $50 a month for unlimited data, talk, & texts plus $20 for the base iPhone. That works out to $75 or so after taxes. I don't think AT&T or Verizon can come close to that price and certainly not close in terms of unlimited data. Yeah, if data for Sprint sucks where you live then it is useless. But pretty silly to extrapolate the entire country from your one town. If Sprint really were that bad they wouldn't have around 50M or so customers. Since I tend to use around 15GB a month my only realistic alternative is T-Moile which is far worse than Sprint where I live. 



  • Reply 13 of 15

    But which phone? Memory?

  • Reply 14 of 15
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,807member

    Out of curiosity I checked Verizon. I didn't bother with AT&T since their plans are pretty close to Verizon, maybe a bit cheaper. 


    If I switched to Verizon and stuck with my average usage of around 15GB to be safe. 


    $60 for 2GB then $15 x13 additional GB = $195 plus $60 = $255. Compare that to around $75 tax included on Sprint with unlimited data. I am curious how anyone on Verizon can keep their usage that low? I would hate to constantly live in fear I am about to incur an additional $15 charge for every new GB. remember the good old days when they at least gave everyone 5GB as the base. That might be manageable with some adjustments but 2GB is pathetically low to me. Sort of defeats the whole point of having a smartphone when you are afraid to ever use LTE data. Almost better to get a flip phone and carry around an iPod Touch if all you ever use is WiFi. 




  • Reply 15 of 15
    Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

    Sort of defeats the whole point of having a smartphone when you are afraid to ever use LTE data. 



    Hear hear.

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