Sprint hopes smartphone leases will woo new subscribers

Sprint has revealed yet another two new programs in an effort to lure subscribers away from other carriers. Back in June, it introduced a promo offering other carriers' customers a year of free data. Now, it has launched Sprint Flex and Sprint Deals,…

Sprint Launches New ‘Sprint Flex’ and ‘Sprint Deals’ Smartphone Purchase Options

Sprint today announced the launch of two new smartphone upgrade programs, Sprint Flex and Sprint Deals. Sprint Flex, as the name suggests, is designed to give users more options for upgrading their phones, including on an annual basis.

With Sprint Flex, customers can choose an iPhone for a low monthly price and begin making payments. Through Sprint’s existing iPhone Forever and Galaxy Forever programs, customers can then opt to upgrade on an annual basis, trading in their devices each year.

After 18 months, though, customers can choose to return their devices for a new one, own the device by making a single payment, or own the device by making six additional monthly payments. Sprint has a chart outlining the program:

Sprint Deals, the other new program Sprint is introducing, will let customers purchase a smartphone without a credit check. Sprint Deals is limited to older devices like the iPhone 6s, but offers $25 to $30 down and payments of $5 to $10 a month.

Customers who apply for and receive credit with Sprint, can take advantage of Sprint Flex on a postpaid plan:

– For entry-level devices, customers pay $5 per month with $25 down.

– For higher-end devices, customers pay $10 per month with $30 down.

Customers who prefer to bypass a credit check with Sprint, can get an instant discount on the same “value menu” of smartphones, on a Sprint Forward prepaid plan:

– For entry-level devices, customers get 50 percent off the suggested retail price.

– For higher-end devices, customers pay 25 percent off the suggested retail price.

Sprint is also currently running a free service promotion that may make it an attractive choice for customers looking for an affordable smartphone. For customers switching from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, or another postpaid carrier and bringing their own device, Sprint is offering one year of free unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data.

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Jay-Z’s 4:44 album is no longer a Tidal exclusive

Just a week after Jay-Z released 4:44 as an exclusive tied to Sprint and his music service Tidal, it's now available more widely. iTunes, Apple Music, Google Play Music and Amazon Music are all offering the album for listening now, with some includin…

Jay-Z’s Album ‘4:44’ Rumored to Arrive on Apple Music After One Week of Tidal Exclusivity

Soon after Jay-Z’s newest album, “4:44,” launched as an exclusive on his own streaming service Tidal, sources speaking to Billboard this weekend have said that 4:44 will be coming to Apple Music and iTunes later this week. Tidal and Sprint are believed to have a one week exclusivity window on 4:44, so it’s predicted that the album will launch on Apple Music next Friday, July 7.

A rumor last year stated that Apple was in talks to purchase Tidal, but Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine eventually denied those reports by saying, “We’re really running our own race. We’re not looking to acquire any streaming services.” For a brief period of time earlier this year, Jay-Z even removed all of his albums from Apple Music and Spotify, although most eventually reappeared on Apple Music a few days later.

A track on 4:44, called “Smile,” references the Apple Music and Tidal feud by specifically calling out Jimmy Iovine (via Business Insider).

F*** a slice of the apple pie, want my own cake

Chargin’ my own fate

Respect Jimmy Iovine

But he gotta respect the Elohim as a whole new regime

The ongoing rivalry between the two competing music services is said to be negatively affecting the music industry as a whole, according to Kanye West who tweeted about the two companies last summer. Later in 2016, West blamed the fight between Apple Music and Tidal as the main factor behind the reason why there won’t be a sequel to Watch The Throne, his 2011 collaboration with Jay-Z. Kanye’s album “The Life of Pablo” began as a Tidal exclusive as well, before it eventually streamed on Apple Music and other services after a few months.

Exclusive deals for services like Apple Music, Tidal, and Spotify have come under fire in recent years by music labels and critics, but Apple has continued releasing exclusive music on its streaming service. Tidal has done the same thing with 4:44, tying the album into the service’s recent acquisition by Sprint.

That source also confirmed that fans need to sign up for Sprint service in order to get the album if they are not already Tidal subscribers. Otherwise, as noted by disgruntled Jay fan hit-making producer Mark Ronson, it is only available to those who were pre-established Tidal subscribers before June 26 or already had Sprint service.

If this weekend’s report is accurate, Tidal/Sprint’s exclusivity window will be ending very soon, allowing more users to get a chance to listen to 4:44 than if it remained a streaming exclusive on Tidal. The sources didn’t confirm whether 4:44 will make it to other streaming services in addition to Apple Music, like Spotify, after Tidal’s exclusivity window ends.

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Don’t bother signing up for Tidal now to get that Jay-Z album

As promised, Jay-Z dropped his new 4:44 album earlier today on Tidal, but you won't be able to stream it if you subscribed recently. As the Verge reported earlier, and Pitchfork confirmed by trying to sign up, Tidal users who enrolled after June 26th…

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