U.S. mobile carrier Sprint will offer its Total Equipment Protection plan (TEP) for the iPhone starting Friday, January 25, according to information obtained by Engadget Wednesday. The carrier had specifically excluded the iPhone from its protection plan since it began carrying the iDevice line in October 2011.
For a monthly fee, TEP, offered directly by Sprint, will replace or repair a damaged phone. Customers who choose to add TEP to their plan will be charged $11 per month and also have to pay a deductible in the event of a claim. Deductibles range from $150 for devices costing up to $599.99 to $200 for devices with a price greater than or equal to $600.00.
This plan compares to Apple’s own AppleCare+ offering, which has one upfront fee ($99.00), and a $49 deductible per incident.
Customers must note, however, that AppleCare+ will only cover replacements or repairs of phones still in the user’s possession at the time of the claim. Sprint’s TEP will replace a lost or stolen phone, and therefore has an higher overall cost. An AppleCare+ user can pulverize their phone as long as they bring a bag with all the pieces to the Apple Store, but Sprint users can simply file a claim without still possessing the device.
Interested Sprint customers have 30 days from the date of purchase to add TEP to their plan. As noted by MacRumors, AT&T and Verizon offer similar plans, with AT&T using a $6.99 per month fee and a $199 deductible and Verizon charging $9.99 per month and deductibles from $169 to $199 depending on the model.