A suspiciously well-timed announcement from Sprint could help put those big, beautiful new iPhone 6s in more pockets: Their “iPhone for Life” plan will upgrade your phone every two years, plus give you unlimited data, starting at $70 per month. And I assume this deal is valid until you no longer have a need for a phone on this Earth. The pricing announced is for a 16 GB iPhone 6, no pricing yet announced for the Plus, or the more expensive 6 models. The $70 you pay each month includes the cost of the data plus the phone price, which Sprint claims will save you $575 over two years compared to their regular two-year contract. Essentially, in this deal, you’re renting the phone instead of buying it outright.
Sprint Corp. (S) introduced an “iPhone for Life” plan that lets customers get a new version of Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s smartphone every two years as it moves to win back customers lost to rivals including T-Mobile US Inc. (TMUS) The service costs $70 a month and includes unlimited data, Sprint said on its website yesterday. Customers make no initial payment for the phone or related taxes on the device because they are essentially renting it, the company said. Chief Executive Officer Marcelo Claure is counting on the new iPhone 6 to help Sprint start adding subscribers again after a seven-year streak of customer losses. By tying promotions to Apple’s device, Sprint is following in the footsteps of controlling shareholder SoftBank Corp. (9984), which used an exclusive iPhone deal to gain market share in Japan. “I challenge anyone in this industry to beat this,” Claure said in an interview yesterday. “Nobody is going to do it.” Sprint is up against steep promotions from its competitors, which are clamoring to use Apple’s new iPhone to drive customer growth. Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) is offering an iPhone 6 for free to customers who trade in older models and sign up for a new two-year contract. The offer comes in the form of a $200 gift card that can be applied to the regular $199.99 price for the basic 16-gigabyte version of the device. The Verizon offer is a “gimmick,” Claure said. A two-year smartphone contract on Verizon starts at $70 a month for 500 megabytes of data, according to its website.