In a move which underscores the latest attempt by US wireless carrier Sprint to sign up more customers, the company recently announced that it is abandoning two-year smartphone contracts.
The announcement makes Sprint the latest US wireless carrier to kill the two-year contract – for offering subsidized handsets to customers – for smartphones. Sprint’s closest rival T-Mobile stopped offering two-year contracts nearly two years back; while bigwig carrier Verizon abandoned the contracts last week.
With Sprint also having joined T-Mobile and Verizon in abandoning two-year smartphone contracts, AT&T is now the only leading wireless carrier in the country to offer subsidized smartphones to customers in return for locking in a service agreement with the carrier for two years.
Announcing Sprint’s decision to abandon two-year service contracts, the company’s CEO Marcelo Claure told The Wall Street Journal, CNBC and Bloomberg Television in interviews that, by the end of 2015, Sprint customers will either have to make full payments for their smartphones or have the payments spread out by leasing the handsets.
In his announcement of the end of two-year smartphone contracts and device subsidies at Sprint, Claure said that the company’s move to unbundle the service and the device purchase will help customers save money.