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Sprint CEO: We're ready for the iPhone 6S launch onslaught

Marcelo Claure says his stores have ample inventory of the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.

Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure is ready for the iPhone launch on Friday. Troy Thomas/Sprint

Are you looking for an iPhone 6S? Sprint stores should have them in stock.

That's according to CEO Marcelo Claure, who said he has worked with Apple to ensure ample inventory of new iPhones.

"This is going to be the most successful launch from an inventory perspective," Claure said in an interview Thursday.

Sprint, like every other carrier and Apple itself, will deal with the crush of eager consumers looking to snap up the latest iPhone, which hits stores Friday. The launch of a new iPhone has typically resulted in long lines at Apple and carrier stores, and devices often selling out early in the day.

Things will be different this time, Claure said. The carrier worked with Apple on its "iPhone for life" program, and he said the Cupertino, California tech giant wanted to make sure there is enough inventory to meet that claim, he said.

The Overland Park, Kansas carrier is playing catch-up as the nation's fourth-largest player in the US wireless industry. While Sprint has improved parts of its service, the company has a long way to go in convincing consumers that its network is worth a second look. As a result, it has been particularly aggressive in offering deals.

Sprint earlier Thursday unveiled a new program that costs $1 a month to lease a base-model iPhone 6S, in exchange for a customer turning in an iPhone 6. Claure said that consumers were already able to get cash back for their existing smartphones, but that T-Mobile's announcement of a $5 leasing plan led him to offer an even more aggressive option.

"You're forced to do stuff like this when John puts out a $5 lease," he said, referring to T-Mobile CEO John Legere. "We have to react."

T-Mobile's plan, like Sprint's, requires a user to hand in an iPhone 6. Given that the iPhone 6 launched a year ago, there are few people with a fully paid-off phone who could actually benefit from either promotion. Both carriers are likely hoping the low offers will get consumers into their stores on launch day.

Legere has touted that early orders for the new iPhones are up 30 percent from a year ago. Claure declined to provide any numbers at Sprint, but noted that T-Mobile only got the iPhone two years ago, while Sprint has had the iPhone since 2011.