Update: A Sprint spokesperson sent TechRadar a statement to let us know that the carrier's new Easy Pay program is indeed available to new customers, but only with certain types of plans:
"Existing customers can use Sprint Easy Pay to upgrade their current handset today," the spokesperson wrote. "Existing customers can visit www.sprint.com/upgrade to check their eligibility. Then, they can purchase an eligible wireless phone through the Sprint Easy Pay program, paying for it in 24 monthly payments.
"New customers can choose Sprint Easy Pay when they sign up for Sprint service on a Sprint Framily plan or Unlimited, My Way plan."
Original story follows…
Sprint has announced a new early upgrade program, just days after it axed its previous one - which it only introduced mere months ago.
The new program, cursed with the incredibly generic-sounding name "Easy Pay," takes a few pages out of T-Mobile's big, pink Un-carrier book.
With Easy Pay, customers put a down payment on a phone and then pay the rest in monthly installments tacked onto their normal bills.
To upgrade devices, you simply have to pay off your current one, then start the cycle again.
Limited time offer
But the new program looks like it's only being offered to existing Sprint customers, and the carrier says it will be available for just "a limited time." The company's Easy Pay support page says it's available in "select Sprint stores" and will arrive on other channels, including sprint.com, "soon."
TechRadar has asked Sprint to provide a specific launch date, and we'll update here if we hear back.
Another nice wrinkle is that Easy Pay customers can also sell their old phone back to Sprint or simply keep it.
But Sprint seems to be treating Easy Pay like an experiment, and it's unclear what will happen to customers who sign up should the carrier decide to cancel it.
Sprint's previous early upgrade program, "One Up," was introduced in September 2013.
For an initial payment of $65, users could pay off new phones over 12 months, at which point they'd be eligible for an upgrade.
Obviously the new Easy Pay program is more flexible for customers, which may be why Sprint seems hesitant to commit to it.