Sprint’s ‘iPhone Forever’ Program Ensures Customers Always Have the Newest iPhone

Sprint today introduced a new plan called “iPhone Forever,” which grants upgrade eligibility for the newest iPhone to any customer who doesn’t have the most current version of Apple’s flagship smartphone on their contract. The plan goes into effect today, and the company is opening the data plan to both new and old Sprint users, although the latter must have an upgrade eligible device to start using iPhone Forever.

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“We asked ourselves, ‘What could we do that would move our customers forward with the latest and greatest technology every day?’ said Marcelo Claure, Sprint CEO. “We decided: How awesome would it be if anytime customers don’t have the latest iPhone, they are eligible to upgrade, and have it be as simple as handing us your existing iPhone and picking up a new one – all included in your monthly rate.”

iPhone Forever lets customers get an iPhone for $22 a month, with the simple rule that anytime they don’t have the latest iPhone on their plan, they are automatically eligible for an upgrade. Sprint is also discounting the service to $15 per month for any customer who trades in an existing smartphone, the catch being that the new phone purchased has to be a 16GB iPhone 6, and the monthly rate will increase back to the normal amount after their next upgrade.

The $15 promotion will last until December 31, 2015, and the company notes that iPhone Forever is available on “any eligible Sprint rate plan.” Sprint’s announcement today follows a few week’s worth of other carriers‘ detailing the introduction of their own brand new service plans for customers, no doubt all preparing for the next-generation iPhone launch sometime next month.

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Nikesh Arora Will Take Over From SoftBank CEO As Chairman Of Yahoo Japan

softbank logo Another sign that former Google head of business Nikesh Arora is poised to take over the top spot at SoftBank: he will replace current chief executive officer Masayoshi Son as chairman of Yahoo Japan’s board of directors. SoftBank currently holds a 43 percent stake in Yahoo Japan. Son will remain on the board of directors, with Arora taking over as the chairman. His ascendancy at… Read More

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SoftBank’s New President Is Former Google Head Of Business Nikesh Arora

softbank img SoftBank, the Japanese telecom giant that is also one of Asia’s most prolific startup investors, has named Google’s former chief business officer, Nikesh Arora, as its new president and potential future chief executive officer. Read More

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Why Google’s Plan To Sell Wireless Probably Doesn’t Scare Network Providers

google Google is gearing up to sell wireless service directly to customers as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), by acquiring excess network capacity from Sprint and T-Mobile and reselling it to customers under its own brand. This is the same approach used by Cricket Wireless, MetroPCS, Pure Talk, Republic Wireless and many others in the U.S., but Google’s arrangement apparently… Read More

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Sprint Says Strict Net Neutrality Rules Won’t Disrupt Its Infrastructure Investments

sprint-logo As you must have heard, if the FCC institutes strict net neutrality regulations, and especially if it uses its authority under Title II of the Communications Act, investment in Internet service infrastructure will catastrophically decrease, gutting improvements of our nation’s private data backbone. Read More

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Sprint To Replace CEO, Drop Bid For T-Mobile Amid Tough Regulatory Climate

Sprint will drop its efforts to buy T-Mobile amid a hostile regulatory climate and financing difficulties. The prospect of lowering the number of major mobile carriers in the United States from four to three proved unpopular among U.S. regulatory bodies. In addition to walking away from its merger efforts, Sprint will reportedly appoint a new CEO tomorrow, according to Bloomberg. The two… Read More

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Sprint Asks If Two Useless Things Can Become One Useful One With The LivePro Projector Hotspot

projector-main Sprint is taking two devices with questionable utility and mashing them together, to create a hybrid pocket projector/mobile hotspot that might actually succeed at making an actual Voltron out of pieces from the spare parts bin. The small device (4.7-inches by 4.7-inches, with a thickness of 1.1 inches) offers a built-in 4-inch display with Android 4.2, for direct access to content, as well as… Read More

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Regulators Frosty On Possible Wireless Consolidation

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Regulators are not enthused about a possible Sprint and T-Mobile U.S. merger agreement, voicing concerns that further consolidation of the market could lead to reduced competition.

The New York Times reported earlier today that William Baer, assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice’s antitrust division, said it would be “hard for someone to make a persuasive case that reducing four firms to three is actually going to improve competition for the benefit of American consumers.” As the Times notes, Baer didn’t specifically detail which firms might be working to combine, but the subtext is clear.

Sprint shares fell yesterday on the news. Bloomberg reported that Sprint had received a “cool reception” from the Department of Justice.

The irony is that T-Mobile itself has been making waves, offering to pay the early termination fee of customers of rival carriers to tempt them to its service. Some are making the jump. That’s a competitive move. Uniting two American carriers at this point would reduce the total pool by a fourth, a sharp contraction.

Putting T-Mobile U.S. into a Sprint box could see it reduce its efforts to disrupt its market. And that could worry regulators about decreasing competition. Baer, the Times quotes, thinks that the American consumer has been the recipient of “much more favorable competitive conditions” since the government axed the 2011 AT&T/T-Mobile deal. Or, in other words, the folks dealing with this sort of thing have historical precedent to be conservative in their regulatory decisions. Recent precedent, even.

We’ll keep an eye on this over the next few months, but the government appears to be signaling that if Sprint and T-Mobile U.S. want to unite, the journey will be a full slog on a steep incline. If it’s possible at all. Top Image Credit: Flickr

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