Monday, May 21, 2012

New Sprint promotion guarantees new subscribers $100 for an iPhone trade-in from another carrier

Sprint is currently the only of the Big Four wireless carriers that continues to provide an unlimited and unthrottled data plan on its network, and while that's already impetus to bring your iPhone business to the company, Sprint is making sure that it adds as many "pros" as possible to its offering.

Sprint has just announced a new promotion that gives any iPhone customer coming from another carrier at least $100 when they trade-in their old device and activate a new two-year service contract. Customers must activate a new line by July 3 and trade-in their non-Sprint iPhone prior to Aug. 14.

The deal can be "redeemed" either in-store or online.

Notably, Sprint says "at least" in terms of the money it will give to carrier switchers. If for some reason your iPhone isn't valued at $100, Sprint will make up the difference.

This could be a good deal if you are trading in an older iPhone. If, instead, you were trading in an iPhone 4 or later, we'd recommend against this deal, assuming your iPhone is in "good" condition or better. In that case, you could receive more trade-in value from third-party sites. For example, Gazelle is offering $132 for a 16GB iPhone 4 in "good" condition.

If you were trading in a 16GB iPhone 3GS in "good" condition, Gazelle would only give you $77, which is where the sweet spot might be for deciding whether or not to go third-party or Sprint. Additionally, if your iPhone is in poor condition, Sprint's iPhone trade-in deal could be great for you.

Here's how it works (naturally walking into a store is the easiest path):

  • Reserve your iPhone 4S online at (new activations only; does not include upgrades)
  • Head to a Sprint store with your old iPhone
  • The $100 savings is instant, in-store
  • Visit to buy your iPhone 4S through Sprint's online store. Once again, new activations only, no upgrades.
  • Once you receive your new iPhone 4S, visit and click "Trade In My Device" to receive a shipping label via email.
  • The payment you'll receive will be via a credit to your Sprint bill, but could take two to three billing cycles (as noted above, in-store is the way to go if you want a quick turnaround). The credit may be split into two payments.
Sprint is all-in on the iPhone, and has been public in stating its belief that the iPhone will pull it out of its subscriber doldrums.

Sprint has already confirmed that no matter what, the next-generation iPhone will continue to have unlimited data on its network. Still earlier, the company said its upcoming 4G service would have unlimited, unthrottled data, as well.

Last week, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said that Sprint wouldn't make a profit from the iPhone until 2015. Still, he said he has no regrets about inking the deal with Apple, said to be worth $15.5 billion over the next four years, which translates to about 24 million units.

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