Sprint Changes Upgrade Policy Before Maybe (Probably) Getting the iPhone

Not all of Sprint's machinations ahead of likely offering the iPhone this October are bad. A few weeks after nearly doubling its early termination fee, Sprint is dropping the qualifying time for its upgrade plan from 22 months to 20, starting October 2nd.

The change will enable more users to switch to the iPhone at its assumed early-October launch. And there's nothing wrong with quicker upgrades, whether you want an iPhone or not. That's the good news.

The not so good news is Sprint also dropped its Premier program at the beginning of this month, claiming it needed to to invest in unlimited data and being able to offer new devices (like the iPhone). Premier gave longstanding customers benefits like discounts on accessories and plan checkups. It's also reduced the return period for handsets from 30 days to 14. Which kind of sucks, but if you're a Sprint customer, you'd probably take that over a compromise on unlimited data.

Regardless, Sprint joining other carriers in targeting late-September and early-October with special offers almost definitely means it's gearing up to offer the iPhone. [Electronistsa]