Apple has all but confirmed it will be announcing the iPhone 5 on September 12, and if recent rumors are correct, it’ll start shipping around a week and a half later. But according to a leaked training manual produced by Sprint, Apple’s next-generation iPhone may not be making its debut until at least October 15, or it’ll be launching with different carriers at different times in the U.S.
That’s if this training document actually means anything. And we don’t think it does.
It’s no secret that many of us aren’t fans of the new shared data plans being offered by Verizon and AT&T. Worse are the tactics these carriers are using to all but force us into the new plans. Consumers aren’t the only one’s disappointed, as Sprint and T-Mobile both discourage the practice and prefer to stick with the assumption that users enjoy having unlimited data with no fear of overages. Why should anyone have to pay a premium to see their data capped and divvied up between their data hungry family?
Sprint is looking to entice families (or individuals with numerous lines) away from their current carriers by offering an instant $400 store credit towards the purchase of “qualifying devices.” While that $400 is sure to catch your attention, it’s the “fine print” that caught mine. In order to receive this promo, you have to activate three or more lines on an Everything Data Share or Simply Everything Data plan — one of which, must be ported over from a non-Sprint company (Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile, and Common Cents Mobile are subsidiaries of Sprint). The stipulations don’t end there.
Walk into your local AT&T, Verizon or Sprint store and ask to look at the latest and greatest smartphone. A store employee will show you the Samsung Galaxy lll and other Android phones from the likes of HTC and Motorola. You may be shown a Windows Phone like the Nokia Lumia 900. At Verizon, you’re definitely going to be shown about the Motorola DROID RAZR 4G.
You won’t get pitched the iPhone as easily. In fact, many walk into a store with the plan of buying an iPhone and come out with the latest Android phone in hand.
Why? Employees and customers we’ve spoken to agree that sales reps from all three big carriers discriminate against the iPhone on the store floor, but it’s not a conspiracy: profit margins and device-specific incentives pressure employees to intentionally steer customers away.
These can now be had (legally) for $50, after some hoop-jumping.
We told you last week that Sprint was selling iPhone 4S models for discounted prices, and that Apple had quietly authorized its retail employees to match discounts from other carriers as well as from Sprint.
Well, in a second surprise move, Sprint has started selling new iPhone 4S devices for $50, which represents a huge discount even on top of the $150 it started selling them for the last time we reported on it.
My contract with AT&T is finally up, which might be the most glorious moment of my smartphone owning days. I’ve been jealous of my friend’s using their iPhones on Verizon for over a year, and now I can join them and maybe get some better service. Or go to Sprint. Hell, I might even go to Virgin Mobile and save some fat stacks of cheddar on their pre-paid plans.
I don’t know exactly what I’ll do, but I’m free, and that’s the important part. But what about you guys? Do you plan to switch carriers when the new iPhone comes out? Is the grass really greener in other cellular pastures? Or is it pretty much all the same? I’d love to hear your thoughts or stories about switching carriers in the comments.
Even though selling the iPhone can potentially bring carriers a huge influx of new customers, selling Apple’s treasured phone isn’t cheap. Before they were able to bring the iPhone to their network, Sprint had to give Apple $15.5 billion in committed purchases for four years, which sounded pretty crazy at the time.
In a recent interview, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse explained that committing to the iPhone was a huge risk, but ultimately, betting against Apple could have been disastrous.
Sprint has a warehouse full of iPhone 4S units it needs to shift before Apple announces the new iPhone in September, which is great news for consumers. If you don’t plan on picking up the sixth-generation device later this year, you can now grab its predecessor for just $149 with a two-year contract. And if you buy online, Sprint will waive the $36 activation fee, too.
Best Buy is now selling the iPhone 4 — in white and black — for just $49.99 with a two-year service plan on AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint. This is one of the cheapest iPhone 4 deals we’ve seen so far, and it’s expected to last until Apple unveils the new iPhone later this year.