Sprint quietly drops Galaxy Forever upgrade program after just four months

Sprint (NYSE: S) has quietly killed its Samsung Galaxy Forever offering just a few months after launching the upgrade program.

Galaxy Forever launched March 11, coinciding with the U.S. launch of Samsung's new high-end phones. The program enabled users who leased the Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge to upgrade to a new Galaxy smartphone any time once they had made 12 monthly lease payments. Galaxy Forever was a complement to Sprint's iPhone Forever, which remains active.

But Wave7 Research reported this week that Sprint has recently dropped the program and no longer offers leasing deals for the Galaxy S7 Edge, although leasing is still available for the less expensive phone. Galaxy Forever isn't being offered in Sprint's retail stores, Wave7 said, and is no longer available online.

Sprint representatives weren't immediately available for comment, but calls from FierceWireless to multiple Sprint stores confirmed the move.

The Galaxy S7 remains Samsung's flagship smartphone, of course, and a next-generation model isn't expected until 2017.

Like its competitors, Sprint has marketed Samsung's high-profile devices aggressively since their release. Each of the four major carriers has offered buy-one, get-one-free deals for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge; Sprint currently offers half off a second Galaxy S7 when users buy one at full price.

Sprint has also stepped up its marketing campaigns in recent months, likely in an effort to boost customer adds as the second quarter drew to a close. It spent an estimated $27 million on TV commercials from May 16 to June 15, according to iSpot.tv, outspending Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. And it hosted in-store campaigns over a weekend in late June that drew notably increased traffic, Wave7 observed.

The nation's beleaguered No. 4 carrier continues to struggle to turn things around in a market where T-Mobile has emerged to threaten Verizon and AT&T, which remain the two dominant mobile network operators. Sprint gained 22,000 net postpaid phone users in the first quarter, marking its third consecutive quarter of positive growth, but it posted a net loss of $554 million, more than doubling the $224 million loss it reported during the year-prior period.

Related articles:
Sprint commercial featuring former Verizon spokesman a hit, iSpot.tv says
UPDATED: Verizon, Sprint follow AT&T and T-Mobile with BOGO offer on Samsung Galaxy S7
Sprint Prepaid loses retail shelf space in advance of Virgin relaunch