Sprint customers who wanted to get an iPad in the past to use on their wireless plans had to buy their iPads up front, which could amount to $300 or more, but that's changing under a new program announced by the carrier.
Starting Nov. 14, Sprint customers will be able to add an iPad Air 2 or an iPad Mini 3 to their cellular accounts and lease the devices under monthly installments, rather than having to buy them up front.
The monthly leasing plan offer under the company's "iPad for Life" program was unveiled by Sprint on Nov. 13. Under the plan, new and existing Sprint customers can lease the tablets for 24 months.
An iPad Air 2 (16GB) will be available for $20 per month for 24 months ($480 total), and an iPad Mini 3 can be purchased for $17 per month for 24 months ($408 total), with no deposit or out-of-pocket costs, according to Sprint. The plan will allow a customer to get a new device every 24 months, if desired.
Monthly service fees for cellular use are in addition to the cost of the devices. Customers who have a Sprint Family Share Pack can add their iPad to their package for $10 per month per line, according to Sprint. In addition, the company will waive the $10 monthly access charge through December 2015 on an iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 that is added as a new line of service to any Sprint Family Share Pack that includes 20GB or more of data.
Similar 24-month leasing plans are available for iPads with more storage. A 64GB iPad Air 2 would be $24 per month ($576 total), while a 128GB model would be $28 per month ($672 total). A 64GB iPad Mini 3 would be $21 per month ($504 total), while a 128GB model would be $25 per month ($600 total).
Customers will be eligible to continue to lease their tablets at the end of their lease or purchase the devices, according to Sprint, or they can turn in their devices and get a new tablet under a new lease. They can also choose not to continue their service at the end of the lease.
The two iPad models can also be activated on one of the Sprint tablet data plans, including a special limited-time offer featuring 100MB of data for $10. Other tablet data plans offer 1GB for $15, 3GB for $35, 6GB for $50, 12GB for $80 or 30GB for $110.
Sprint has been offering similar monthly payment plans for smartphone users for quite some time, including its recent offering for the new Motorola Nexus 6 phone, which is available starting today through Sprint.