The two-year phone contract, always a carrier-friendly and consumer-unfriendly arrangement, appears to be on its way out. Finally.
A new leaked document suggests that the only remaining carrier offering a two-year smartphone contract, Sprint, will soon quit doing so. The internal document was obtained by Android Central yesterday.
Sprint said back in August that it planned to phase out the two-year contract in 2015. The internal Sprint document appears to show that Sprint is now moving on that plan, if a little late.
The document suggests, however, that Sprint may continue offering two-year contracts to tablet buyers.
A similar AT&T document leaked to Engadget late last year said the carrier would phase out two-year contracts for new customers today, January 8.
Consumers–especially ones who desire the latest premium phones–have long been attracted to the two year-contract because it offered deep subsidies on new devices. But most consumers ended up paying dearly, in financing charges, for that subsidy over the course of the two-year contract period.
The wireless industry is now offering consumers the option of either buying new phones outright, or entering a phone financing agreement that’s divorced from a contract period.
The insurgent U.S. wireless carrier T-Mobile started the movement toward no-contract arrangements. The other three major carriers–AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint–each announced plans to go contract-free for smartphone buyers last year.
[via Android Central]