Sprint playbook

The latest Sprint Playbook is out, and while the majority of the news is a re-hash of the Sprint Epic 4G Touch news we saw last night in New York, there ares some other interesting tidbits nestled between the pages.  A new device, HTC Holiday rumors, policy changes, and a new customer rewards program are all afoot, hit the jump and check them out.

Thanks, Anon!

Kyocera Milano coming Sept. 9

Kyocera Milano

Decidedly mid-range, the Kyocera Milano will be a sliding Qwerty coming to Sprint on Sept. 9.  With an 800MHz processor and 512/512 ROM/RAM, it's a 3G device running Android 2.3 on its 3-inch screen.  Toss in a fairly beefy 1340 mAH battery and a $50 price tag, and it looks like a fine choice for many.

HTC Holiday coming in September?

HTC Holiday

Rumors about unreleased devices and their release dates are nothing new, but it's always worth a chuckle when one carrier tries to second guess another.  In the latest Android smartphone comparison, Sprint lets us know they think we'll be seeing AT&T's as-yet unannounced HTC Holiday this September.  It's also a nice look at the features of the current available Android "flagship" phones across the U.S. carriers, so it's worth a look.

ETF changes, upgrade fee increase, and the end of one year plans

Policy changes

no more 1 year plans

All good things must come to an end (or at least end up costing a bit more), and Sprint will be making a few small policy changes worth looking at.  As we've been hearing all day, the ETF will be increasing to $350 for "advanced devices" starting Sep. 9 -- just in time fro the Epic 4G touch launch.  On the same day, the upgrade fee doubles from $18 to $36.  And lastly, starting Oct. 2 Sprint will no longer be offering a one year contract -- to get any sort of a discount you'll have to sign up for two years.

New customer rewards program

Sprint Rewards Me

With no details (they're coming "VERY soon") Sprint will be starting up a new customer loyalty program called Sprint Rewards Me.  "Purchase a new device every 6 months at the National 2 year pricing" looks like a nice beginning, and we can't wait to hear the full details.

 

Reader comments

Sprint Playbook shows us a new device, policy changes, new rewards program, gives AT&T HTC Holiday a September release

40 Comments

Epic Touch 4g is $499 off contract. Awesome!
The changes suck. I have been off contract since October last year. I pay full msrp for new phones and sell my old ones so not too worried about scrapping 1 yr contracts and etf changes and the like.

I wonder how much the New 6 month upgrade program will cost...

OMG!!! Every 6 months, I cant wait!!! Even though I get an annual upgrade I still feel behind the times. This will put an end to that!!!

you don't get annual upgrades anymore. even if you have one that's ready there going to make you wait till 8/1/12 to get it. they just screwed the premier customers.

i dont think that will happen anytime soon maybe like in a year and a half or two because thats what sprint keeps promoting nowadays even in this ad it says get real unlimited data from sprint in the device comparison picture

It's inevitable. But probably won't happen before they roll out LTE.
It's their biggest calling card though. "True unlimited" is what they keep saying. If that goes, that differentiation is gone.

Their unlimited data is the only thing keeping me away from Verizon or T-Mob...If they do it, I'm gone. So will a lot of people.

Apple got another carrier bye the ballls. Every carrier caves into apples demands. It is a sad state indeed.

Unless something really changed, Sprint Rewards Me isn't for customers, just employees. SRM is a site employees can log into to claim sales for extra incentives like bonus cash and contest entries. I'd imagine the "New Every 6 Mos." is also an employee only perk since previously a lot of 3rd party Sprint employees were stuck with the standard upgrade program (though they had a great plan discount).

Source: Used to work for a 3rd party Sprint retailer

How stupid is an upgrade fee!!

I hope that six month program is for customers!!! I can barely contain myself!!! That's just what I need!!!

I just want the HTC Holiday to be released! AT&T needs a competitive HTC phone to keep up with the EVO 3D and Sensation!

why mix Sprint news with AT&T news and then back to Sprint news in same article? confusing headline and post layout - at first i thought HTC Holiday was Sprint related. or maybe i'm just still hungover.

it's HILARIOUS that sprint choose to put their gs2 up against the Infuse and a rumored phone instead of the other gs2's

interesting stuff

btw, hey Jerry what the fudge is up with the comment rating system? How am I suppose to know if my posts are awesome if I can't give myself 3 stars anymore?

Given that the Playbook is intended for Sprint resellers, and that it says that Sprint Rewards Me is "just for you", I can't see it being a customer rewards program.

It's a smart employee perk, as customers in stores often will ask the employees what phone they use, so this should help Sprint sell their newer phones.

You really don't even have to read between the lines on this one. Come on guys lets use a little common sense. This is a supposed internal leaked document. Internal meaning for employees...first line says "JUST FOR YOU" meaning the people who the document was intended for...Sprint/Third party employees.

Seems pretty clear to me. This is NOT a CUSTOMER loyalty program. Besides what logical sense would it make to totally eliminate the annual upgrade program, after already altering it earlier this year to make it a tiered thing for "premier" customers, if they are just going to turn around and allow you to get a phone every six months?

Awesome dream? For sure. But only a dream.

(yet the voice in the back of my head softly whispers that Sprint has not made much sense lately with many things so that 1% of hope is worth holding on to)

STILL NOT LIKELY!

Yup, I know someone who worked for Sprint corporate and they've told me that their employee lines are 1 year lines. So these would make sense that its only for employees!

How would I sign up for a 1 year contract? I thought new customers have to sign up for 2 years? What would the price be for a Epic 4G Touch with a 1 year contract?

Did you get the image titled "Stay in the Fast Lane" from another site or scan it yourselves? Anyway, it is *barely* almost readable for me...

So unless I am reading document #3 wrong it looks like if I have a one year upgrade for being a gold premier customer I will lose it on 10/2. $36.00 upgrade fee, get real Sprint your service in Tucson blows and Verizon beat you to the punch with 4g LTE, what good is having unlimited data when it is slow as a snail. Sprint trys to justify the price increase to their employees but with all of the small things like upgrade fees and $10.00 per smartphone for data that downloads at 80Kbps your gonna lose your customer base real fast. I have been with Sprint for 10 years and I am not afraid to change.

Same to be said for Phoenix, its a shame really.

The data speeds have been getting worse every month since the original release of the Evo 4g and then 3d.

If it wasnt for my grand fathered plan I'd have switched ages ago. The problem for sprint is the general public dont care about unlimited data, just raw speed/usability.

That's not how I interpreted #3...Sprint will give you $75 off a phone for signing a 1 year contract instead of a 2 year contract (the two year discount ranged from $150-$450 off the off-contract price). It looks like the $75 off for signing a one year contract is what will be going away. From what I have heard, there won't be any further changes to the premier program.
Also if you are premier or SERO or if you activate online (or complain enough) you can usually get the activation fee waived.

Yep, I live in Surprise and I have an AirRave. Still boggles my mind that places like Prescott, Lake Havasu, Casa Grande and Globe have WiMax, Phoenix and Tuscon are left out.

Fail on the reply to above post. Thanks for redirecting me back to the page after logging in.

sure enough this finally puts me over to dump sprint, I was on the verge anyway but this does it. Hello T-mobile

Sprint 4G has been very disappointing in NYC. The low ETF is one of the main reasons I stuck with Sprint last cycle. That seals the deal for me: I'm switching to Verizon when the Nexus Prime comes out.

you know the Prime will come to Sprint eventually, and when you switch to Verizon you will get a higher bill with no unlimited data right? You're entitled to switch, but going from Sprint to Verizon seems like a downgrade to me, unless you're willing to trade a cheaper bill with unlimited data for a better but more expensive, limited 4G plan.

I'm sure unlimited data is very important for a lot of people, but it's not a huge selling point for me. I use wifi as much as possible, and 4G is for situations like waiting at the airport, riding on a train, when tethering the laptop/iPad, etc. Verizon has a number of drawbacks, but I'd gladly pay a somewhat higher rate for better coverage/reliability.