Awhile back, we noted that SERO (Sprint Employee Referral Offer) on Sprint was dead and was replaced instead with 'Everything Plus'.
Both plans were attractive for their low price points (SERO was $29.99 a month for 500 anytime minutes, unlimited data/text; 'Everything Plus' was higher at $59.99) but a new twist was instantiated by Sprint: no 'high end' smartphone were allowed on old SERO plans (EP plans are okay). These devices included Palm Pre, Pixi and all Android devices. In fact, the only exempted smartphones were Windows Mobile devices and old Palm Garnet phones e.g. Centro.
It was safe to assume though that when Windows Phone 7 comes out on Sprint, it too would be restricted on SERO, meaning current customers would have to migrate to higher plans, in most cases literally doubling their monthly bill.
Good news though: Starting on October 1st, Sprint is offering 'SERO Premium' to current SERO customers. For an extra $10 a month you can use any previously restricted phone on your SERO account, in addition to getting unlimited GPS Navigation (previously $10 a month in of itself) and 'Any mobile anytime'. For 4G phones (Android EVO and Epic at this time, though we can expect one from Microsoft), users would have to pay another $10, which is similar to that extra $10 that all 4G customers have to pay. While this results in an increase to current customers, it sure beats doubling their costs and we applaud Sprint's move here to continue to grandfather in long time customers.
Of course we should note that Sprint has not specifically exempted Windows Phone 7 from this list yet, partially due to their silence on any upcoming WP7 offerings. But we know Sprint is committed to multiple Microsoft devices and there is no reason to think that they won't be exempted.
In short, current SERO customers, hold tight: when Windows Phone 7 launches and Sprint gets some devices (we'll know more on October 11th), you can migrate your current plan over and still enjoy those amazing savings from Sprint. Now shows us your WP7 wares Sprint like, nao plz!
Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.
Although I have an HTC EVO and I'm paying upwards of $70 a month, I was smart and kept my old SERO plan just in case something like this happened ;-) (Yeah, I'm paying double for 4 months, but it was a calculated risk) So now I'll eat the early termination fee but still make out in the long run.
good gamble on your part Malatesta
As a SERO user I held off upgrading to an Android or a WebOS phone. I instead upgraded to the htc Snap. Now I am very happy that I held out. If WinP7 is a $10 upgrade then I will just activate my Pre dev phone. If it is not then bring on a new WinP7 device.
I used a Diamond on SERO for over a year before finally maxing out the plan with an eBay-bought TP2 earlier this year. I've been a big WM fan and LOVE Sero, but this current year has been frustrating as WM6.x has for all intents and purposes been dead with the announcement of WP7. Meanwhile all these great new devices/apps on other platforms (which I couldn't upgrade to) were coming out. Still, I held onto to my SERO plan hoping to ride it out to the end of the year before more seriously considering making a switch. I figured at the very least I could run Android on my TP2, but even that (ironically) only became usable with the addition of sound in the last couple weeks. Oh well, at least it'll make for a highly-competent backup phone after 10/1. I'm most likely going to jump over to Android (probably Epic for the keyboard, screen and sheer horsepower) for the interim. But I think WP7 has the smarter middle-ground path between the extremes of iPhone and Android and I hope to jump back within the next year or so. I think the marketing support MS is going to put behind it will guarantee it at least some level of success, much like VZW did with the Droid. It'll pass WebOS in the blink of an eye and will likely start closing in on Blackberry by the end of next year. MS is MUCH more developer friendly than Blackberry so the devs/apps will come. And once the platform gets its initial bugs ironed out (and they'll be able to do it MUCH faster than Android thanks to their update model) it'll be extremely compelling.
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