Sprint Pulls Plug On Early Upgrade Program After Only 4 Months

Sprint One Up: Sept. 2013 - Jan. 2014... We hardly knew ye.

Sprint One Up: Sept. 2013 – Jan. 2014… We hardly knew ye.

Last fall, Sprint was the last of the four major wireless providers to launch an early upgrade program that required subscribers to pay full price for their phones in order to be able to upgrade those devices after 12 months. We didn’t think it was such a great deal at the time, and apparently neither did many others, as Sprint quietly “retired” One Up last week.

GigaOm’s Alex Colon noticed that the Sprint.com page that had been dedicated to One Up now redirects to this FAQ page explaining that the service was shuttered on Jan. 9.

If you are enrolled in One Up, Sprint says you’ll continue to receive the $15/month discount until you either cash in your next upgrade or change to a new plan. The only way to continue making annual upgrades after that is if you switch to an unlimited data “Framily” plan.

Sprint introduced the new Framily (friends + family = framily, apparently) shared data plans last week. Rather than giving customers the option of a shared data plan or an early upgrade program, Sprint has chosen to go with the former.

The main difference between Sprint’s shared data plans and those offered by competitors is that it lets customers spread the total data usage out over multiple accounts.