“Much as Apple’s unveiling of a larger iPhone is an opportunity to lure customers away from rivals, cellular carriers view the arrival of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus as a ripe chance to do the same,” Marco della Cava reports for USA Today. “‘We don’t have many iPhone customers as compared to the other big carriers, so we see this as a huge switching window opportunity for us,’ says T-Mobile spokesman Clint Patterson. T-Mobile is offering to buy out existing cellular contracts for up to $650 per family, offered in the form of a MasterCard debit card. While Patterson wouldn’t say how many new customers the program has lured since the iPhone 6 went on pre-sale Friday, he pointed out that a month after initiating the buy-out plan T-Mobile gained 2.5 million new customers. In August, it hit 2.7 million for the month.”
“While Sprint is offering a similar buy-out program, it expires on Oct. 31. Consumers who want to make the switch get a prepaid Visa card loaded with $350 to pay off an existing cellular contract,” della Cava reports. “Those new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus customers must then commit to Sprint’s two-year, $50-a-month Simply Unlimited plan, which is a $10-a-month savings over the regular pricing.”
“With all this jockeying back and forth whenever a hot new phone is released, it begs the question if long-term contracts might all soon go the way of the rotary phone,” della Cava reports. “”The trend is definitely people moving away from a tiered agreement,” says Sprint’s Kristen Wallace, noting that the carrier now offers iPhone 6 fans the option of leasing their smartphone much as they would a car.”
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