iPhone 8 pre-orders open on Friday, which means that all four carriers are currently jockeying for position to have the best launch-day deal in place. AT&T put its cards down earlier with a killer buy-one-get-one-free deal, albeit with an entire spool of strings attached.
Sprint’s counter-offer is here, but unfortunately it’s a tepid trade-in offer that barely even qualifies as an offer at all.
Specifically, Sprint is offering 50% off the lease price of an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus with an “eligible trade-in” of a relatively new device. When you trade in your older phone, you get 50% off an 18-month lease, which depending on the phone, is a saving of $15- to $19 per month. Multiply that by the 18 lease payments you’ll be making, and you’ll be saving $270 over the term of the device.
If that was a standalone offer, I’d tell you to rush down to the Sprint store on Friday morning. But the problem is that you have to trade in an eligible device to get there. The complete list is: iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy 8+, Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Samsung Galaxy Note 5, moto Z2 Force, LG G6, LG V20, Google Pixel/Pixel XL.
The iPhone 6 is the oldest phone on that list, and good-condition used models are still selling for around $300 on eBay and Craigslist. All the other phones on that list are going for the same, or far more. Considering that Sprint is basically giving you a $270 flat trade-in credit, that makes it a bad deal for nearly everyone with a qualifying device.
Sure, if you have an old 16GB iPhone 6 with a couple scuffs, it’s a solid trade-in. But if you’re thinking about making the jump from a 6S Plus or a 7, you’ll save yourself far more money by just selling your iPhone third-party and taking the cash to the Apple store on launch day.