Sprint Corp. on Friday rolled out its one-year upgrade plan called One Up.
The plan, initially described Monday in a report by the website CNET, follows similar programs at the three other national wireless companies to allow customers a new phone each year.
One Up, like plans at other carriers, also includes an installment payment feature for the new devices. Sprint said One Up spreads the cost of the new phone over 24 monthly payments, with the size of the final payment varying in some cases.
Sprint’s launch of One Up coincided with Apple’s release of the newest iPhone models on Friday.
T-Mobile started the shift toward more frequent upgrades with its Jump plan, which it markets as Just Upgrade My Phone. AT&T followed with Next and Verizon with Edge.
Traditionally, wireless phone customers have had to wait nearly two years to qualify for a new phone under their service contracts with carriers.
To qualify for Sprint’s One Up, customers must sign up for two years of service under one of Sprint’s unlimited data for life plans — the Unlimited, My Way or My All-in plan. These promise to provide customers unlimited data use for the life of their account at Sprint.
Overland Park-based Sprint is offering a $15-a-month discount on its $80-a-month unlimited-for-life data plans with the rollout of One Up. Its announcement called the $65-a-month rate introductory.
Existing Sprint customers also can qualify for the One Up plan if they have had their current phone for 12 months but don’t yet qualify for an upgrade.
Each customer is required to surrender his current device in “good and functional condition” to qualify for the upgrade.