24-month device financing paired with a $15 discount on monthly service price
It was only a matter of time until Sprint finally joined T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T with a program to offer customers early upgrades, and its upcoming offering is purportedly called "One Up." Similar to JUMP, Next and Edge from T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon, Sprint's One Up program will give customers access to new handsets every 12 months by choosing to enter a financing agreement for a phone over 24 months. Here's how it breaks down:
With One Up, you will buy a phone for $0 down and commit to 24 equal monthly payments — i.e. a $650 phone will be $27 per month. At the start of the 13th month, you'll be given the option to trade-in your existing phone in good working order and start a new 24-month One Up payment plan. But this is where things get interesting.
If you buy a phone through One Up and choose an "Unlimited, My Way" or "Unlimited All-In" plan, Sprint will cut you a $15 per month break on your monthly service costs. That means an unlimited plan with Sprint can cost as little as $65 per month when you choose to finance your phone. This is similar to the way T-Mobile decouples the cost of the phone and the plan, although in Sprint's case you're getting a discount that's smaller than what you're paying for the phone.
Based on Sprint's promotional materials obtained by CNET, the carrier claims buying a $650 phone on One Up and choosing an unlimited plan will be $220 cheaper after two years than the comparable JUMP price from T-Mobile and $500 less than AT&T Next.
We seem to know just about every detail of Sprint One Up at this point based on the information here, but we shouldn't have to wait long for the official announcement — Sprint is reportedly ready to launch One Up on September 20th. As for existing customers, CNET expects those who are at least one year into their contract will be offered an option to move to One Up.