Wireless carriers are currently engaged in a high stakes game of one-upmanship as they each try to add more subscribers by offering increasingly tantalizing offers. Sprint's strategy was literally called "One Up," the name it gave to an early upgrade program it introduced just four months ago. One Up customers could purchase an eligible smartphone with no down payment (depending on the device) and spread out the full retail cost over 24 monthly installment payments. In exchange, One Up customers could upgrade their handset every 12 months and start the process anew. Now the program is no more.
A support page on Sprint's website indicates the program was retired on January 9, 2014, though no reason is given. In its place, Sprint is now pushing customers to check out its new "Framily Plan," which is something completely different. By getting additional family members and even friends to link their accounts, individuals can enjoy group savings.
"Sprint Framily offers unlimited talk and text and 1GB data while on the Sprint network for as little as $25/month per line with no requirement to share data," Sprint explains. "The consumer invites up to nine family members, friends, and others to join Sprint and save."
The offer is eligible to new and existing subscribers. Furthermore, all accounts within a Sprint Framily group are billed separately and are individually liable for their bill.
It's an interesting proposition, though it still doesn't explain why Sprint abandoned its early upgrade program, and did it so quickly after launch.