Sprint introduced a new scheme that gives users a free iPhone 8 with a trade-in and 18-month lease. The user will have to give up their current device, such as an iPhone 7 or Samsung’s high-end Galaxy S8 or Galaxy Note 8, in order to get the iPhone 8 in exchange.
Details on Sprint’s free iPhone 8 deal
Users who want to take advantage of the $0 per month scheme must get a new line and have a high-end phone to trade in. It means that customers who are already on Sprint are not eligible for the free iPhone 8 offer (though they can still trade in their high-end device for an iPhone 8), notes The Verge. After the 18-month lease ends, buyers can either return the phone or pay the regular lease for six months.
Sprint has also sweetened the deal for those who do not have a high-end Samsung or iPhone to offer. Other handsets can be traded for a 50% discount, which of course isn’t as good as a free iPhone 8, but it’s still a deal. The devices that are eligible for a 50% discount are the Samsung Galaxy S7, Note 5, LG G6, LG V20, LG G5, Moto Z Droid, Moto Z Play, Moto Z2 Force, Moto Z Force Droid, Moto Z2 Play, and either of Google’s Pixels. The customer will have to pay $14.58 in addition to the monthly $55 unlimited plan, totaling $69.58.
“Sprint is still offering the Best Price Guarantee on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus 64GB – if there’s a nationally advertised lower price, we will cover the difference with a Visa® Prepaid Card2. And with iPhone Forever, customers can upgrade to the latest iPhone after just 12 lease payments,” the carrier said in a press release.
Trade-ins tap the rising value of used phones
Craig Moffett at Moffett Nathanson Research notes that the trade-in offers from the carrier network largely take advantage of the rising value of used smartphones. According to Moffett, customers are retaining their phones for longer periods, and therefore, the supply of used phones available in the market declines, which in turn fuels higher prices for used handsets, notes Fortune.
For instance, a one-year-old Verizon iPhone 7 currently fetches $325 at used phone seller Gazelle, compared to $255 for an iPhone 6s last year, which at that time was one year old. In the report, Nathanson stated that for most iPhone trade-in offers, “the trade-in values are high enough to make what sound like attractive offers virtually costless to the carriers.”
Trying to lure customers with unique offers
Carriers have been using phone-related offers to lure customers. However, with rivals easily matching offers, these carriers have lost competitive advantages, according to analysts. Barclays notes that carriers are limiting their new phone offers now and are rather striving to attract customers through differentiation.
A few days ago, AT&T announced free HBO and cheap DirecTV Now promotional plans to attract more users. Analysts at Barclays note that though buy-one-get-one deals do not come as any surprise, heading into the holidays, there could be more promotional offers coming from carriers.
On Monday, Sprint shares closed down 0.19% at $7.68. Year to date, the stock is down almost 9%, while in the last year, it is up more than 15%. In pre-market trading today, shares were in the red.