Sprint’s $69 Everything Deal Good for Everyone (Except Sprint)

Unlimited calls, data, text deal prompts people to consider switching

Sandy Hook outside steps

It was big news when Sprint announced last week that it would offer a $69 package on cellphone service, including unlimited calling to any other cellphone, unlimited texting, some fun bells and whistles like GPS navigation, and most important: unlimited data.

Lots of people were celebrating the move, with writers and readers pondering switching providers to Sprint. As a former Sprint customer, I'm not in any hurry to get back to the company with the worst customer support I've ever encountered (in any industry). But then I look at my iPhone plan with AT&T, which squeezes an extra $20 out of me for unlimited text messaging, and I wonder…

To keep people like me from jumping ship, the other big providers will inevitably respond with similar plans. This could be a great development for consumers — a good old price war! Taking it a step further, though, it could be a good thing for mobile/cellphone tech in general: Since data service is so cheap now, primitive phones will fall into the bin of obsolescence. Soon, pretty much every cellphone will be a smartphone.

As smartphones spread, though, Sprint's big move might have an unexpected consequence: Putting itself and its fellow providers in a weaker position. My reasoning after the jump.

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