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Sprint Weighing a Change to Phone Subsidies

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Nov 4, 2014, 9:04 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said the company may scrap phone subsidies at some point down the road. Speaking to investors, Claure noted that its installment and leasing programs are beginning to gather steam, which make the possibility of change much simpler. Historically, wireless network operators have subsidized the cost of handsets that are sold with contracts. Customers agree to a one- or two-year term in exchange for a reduced sale price for whatever device they choose. The carrier recoups the remaining cost of the handset over the term of the contract. T-Mobile upended this arrangement with its Simple Choice plans, which scrap the subsidy in favor of monthly device payments. Claure said if Sprint chooses to follow this path, it won't be until next year.

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Nov 10, 2014, 4:07 PM

Carrier locked CDMA phone?

That's what I want to pay for up front. If they want to go without subsidies then they need to start selling them unlocked. Sprint has a history of not being customer friendly when it comes to unlock requests.

Nov 4, 2014, 6:03 PM

Of course their gonna get rid of subsidies...

Among the big boys, Sprint makes the least off subsidized contract lines and all carriers are making more profit by installment payment plans.
So then even if the customer doesn't pay for the phone, the carrier can write off the retail cost of the handset plus fees, versus what they actually paid the manufacturer for it and whatever the cust Did pay. And then later sell that debt to a collection agency.

Win win, and it wouldn't surprise me if they made more off a customer that doesn't pay for their handset than one that does.
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