CNET: Sprint prepping its own early smartphone upgrade program

|About: Sprint Corporation (S)|By:, SA News Editor

The program, called Sprint One Up (S +0.1%), will reportedly launch on Sep. 20. It will allow Sprint subs to obtain a new smartphone for no money down and $27/month.

Interestingly, they'll also get a $15/month discount on Sprint's Unlimited voice/text/data plan ($65 instead of $80). Users will be able to trade in their phones after a year. Existing subs who have been on contract for a year or longer will be eligible.

In a leaked slide, Sprint asserts a One Up sub will pay $1,192 in total phone and service fees in the first 12 months, $228 less than a subscriber to T-Mobile USA's (TMUS +0.2%) Jump upgrade plan and over $500 less than subscribers to AT&T's (T +0.6%) Next plan or Verizon's (VZ +0.9%) Edge plan; AT&T and Verizon's early upgrade pricing has already been criticized.

SoftBank (SFTBF.PK, SFTBY.PK) has promised Sprint will price its services aggressively going forward. Sprint overhauled its service plans shortly after the SoftBank deal closed, but the price cuts offered weren't as steep as some expected.