Yesterday I wrote that T-Mobile should be very flattered by all the imitation happening in the wake of its Uncarrier moves: It can be argued that all three of the other major national carriers have been responding in some way to the nation’s third largest mobile carrier, and sometimes it’s more obvious than others.
Sprint is now the latest carrier to imitate something that T-Mobile has been doing for years now: not offering 2-year service contracts. The Wall Street Journal originally broke the news that the nation’s fourth largest carrier will transition completely to a leasing model by the end of the year, and Sprint CEO later confirmed this. This comes just days after Verizon made a similar announcement, and AT&T has already made it very difficult to sign new customers up for contracts (third party AT&T retailers can only sell devices at full cost or on an installment plan).
This isn’t entirely great for consumers, though. There’s no mention of installment plans for customers: either you’ll have to pony up the full cost of the phone up front and buy it outright, or sign up for a 24 month lease in which you’ll have to pay off the device completely at the end of two years, or turn the phone back in.