The battle over phone trade-in programs is heating up. Sprint (NYSE: S) said it will meet or beat all of its competitors' pricing to ensure customers get the best trade-in values for their phones. The announcement coincides with a similar one from T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS), which said it will guarantee the best trade-in value on customers' used devices when they upgrade to a new device and then give customers a $50 billing credit on top of that.
Sprint said it will match all major U.S. carrier buyback pricing (at Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T) and T-Mobile) on all new lines of service starting immediately. The announcements from Sprint and T-Mobile come as Apple is preparing to unveil a new iPhone, which will likely lead many customers to trade in their current phones to get the new gadget.
Sprint noted that it already provides an instant credit in-store and up to $300 for eligible devices (toward a new phone purchase or an account credit). Sprint also noted that it lets customers trade-in up to three phones per line at any time and five in a calendar year. T-Mobile, Sprint said, only allows one phone trade-in per line and only allows customers to trade-in their phone when purchasing a new device. Sprint also said customers can take advantage of the trade-in credit at any time--whether they are buying a new phone, looking to purchase new accessories or want to use their trade-in credit toward their bill.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere seemed unperturbed by Sprint's offer and took the opportunity to taunt Sprint on Twitter. He tweeted: "Sure, you could trade-in your device at @sprint, but then you'd have to use sprint. #sprintlikehell." Release