After dropping its One Up program last week, Sprint(s s) on Thursday introduced a new way for customers to upgrade early with Sprint Easy Pay. Easy Pay lets you buy a new phone at any time and pay it off across 24 monthly installments plus an initial down payment.
With Easy Pay, once you buy a new phone, you can then upgrade to another new device at any point you’d like, though you’ll have to pay off the remaining balance on your current device first. You can then keep that paid off device or sell it back to Sprint through its Buyback program, which will give you up to $300.
Easy Pay makes a lot of sense to me. After all, Sprint isn’t losing any money through the program, as customers are ultimately paying the full price for their new handset, albeit over a period of time. And it gives device fiends the ability to upgrade whenever they choose, as long as they’re willing to pay for it.
T-Mobile kicked off the early upgrade trend back in July, and AT&T(s t) and Verizon(s vz) quickly followed suit. Sprint’s decision to end its One Up program in favor of its new Framily plans was a curious one, as the only way to upgrade early was to sign up for a Framily plan with unlimited data, which gave you the option to upgrade once every 12 months.
Easy Pay works in conjunction with a Framily Plan. You pay your monthly Framily plan payments, but you get the option to upgrade whenever you choose. That sounds like the best of both worlds to me.
Sprint says that Easy Pay is being offered for a limited time, but there’s no word yet on exactly how long it will last.