This is according to a post from late last night by a verified employee on the Sprint subreddit.
The employee writes that, starting Friday, Jan. 8, new Sprint customers will not be able to get two-year contracts and the cheaper, subsidized phones that come with them.
Instead, customers will have to pay full price for their phones, either by purchasing them outright or by leasing through Sprint.
Like the other carriers, Sprint has been offering this sort of contract-free plan for quite some time, but it has also continued to allow consumers to sign up for traditional contracts.
Unlike AT&T, which is ditching new contracts altogether this week, the employee says that Sprint will allow existing contract customers to re-up their deals when their obligation expires.
The employee also says that the change does not affect Sprint’s wireless plans for tablets, but that the company will soon begin offering incentives to nudge contract tablet customers into leasing their devices when their contracts expire.
As the employee notes, wile contracts might offer you the cheaper sticker price on devices, customers may be able to save more by going contract-free and leasing their phones.
We asked Sprint for comment on the reddit post and a rep for the company provided a statement that still lists contracts as an option, but doesn’t explain whether they will still be an option after Jan. 8:
“Sprint continues to offer customers choices to obtain their new device in a way that best fits their budget,” reads the statement. “Customers can choose to lease a smartphone – the most cost effective way to obtain a new phone. Customers also have the choice to pay for their device through Sprint Easy Pay (installment bill), pay full retail price or sign a two-year agreement.”
We’ve asked for further clarification on this issue and will update if we hear back.