Sprint raises ETF to $350; a sign of new devices?

Sprint has increased its ETF (early termination fees) for advanced devices to $350; it's prorated based on remaining months in the contract. Might it be a sign of the iPhone coming to the carrier?

Nicole Lee Former Editor
Nicole Lee is a senior associate editor for CNET, covering cell phones, Bluetooth headsets, and all things mobile. She's also a fan of comic books, video games, and of course, shiny gadgets.
Nicole Lee

Sprint has joined AT&T and Verizon Wireless in increasing its early termination fees (ETFs) for advanced devices. Sprint used to charge a $200 ETF for those who skip out on their contracts early; now it's $350. However, it will be prorated depending on how many months left you have in the contract.

Verizon Wireless increased its ETF for advanced devices to a prorated $350 in November 2009, and AT&T increased it to a prorated $325 in June 2010. Advanced devices includes smartphones, tablets, laptops, and Netbooks. T-Mobile is currently the only carrier that has not raised its ETF; it's still $200.

We speculate the reason Sprint is raising its ETF might be partly because of several new hot devices joining its lineup. The first is of course the Samsung Epic Touch 4G that was announced yesterday, but a more interesting excuse would be the rumored iPhone 5 heading to Sprint. Back in 2010, AT&T conveniently raised its ETF at the same time the iPhone 4 was announced, even though the carrier claims the two events were unrelated. Of course, Verizon raised its ETF a whole year prior to that, so maybe we're off on this one.

Sprint will implement the new prorated $350 ETF starting September 9 this year.