NEW YORK - Sprint capped off today’s news of new family plans with a press event in New York City that showcased the company’s bezel-less smartphone from Sharp, the Aquos Crystal.
At a lavish reception, Sprint showed off the Aquos Crystal, which was built by Sharp especially for Softbank in Japan and Sprint in the United States.
While the Aquos Crystal has some high-end specs, Sprint plans to make the device available at value pricing.
David Owens, senior vice president of product development for Sprint, said the company will sell the device for a suggested retail price of $239 and sell it outright to prepaid customers for $149.
The Aquos Crystal supports Sprint’s HD Voice product, as well as the company’s high-speed Spark network. It comes running Android 4.4.2 KitKat and features a 5-inch display , 8 megapixel camera, 2,040 mAh battery and a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor.
Early Tuesday, Sprint announced the Family Share Pack, a new set of shared data plans that start at 600MB and reach all the way up to 60GB. Under Sprint’s new offer, four lines with unlimited talk and text plus 20GB costs $160, doubling the data allowance packages with similarly priced plans from AT&T and Verizon.
To celebrate the new plans, available starting Aug. 22, Sprint has a limited-time offer of 20GB for $100 to families with up to 10 lines through 2015. The carrier is tacking on an additional 2GB per line with the offer, meaning that a family with 10 lines can pay $100 for 40GB a month.
The $100 limited-time deal, available through September, is similar to a deal T-Mobile currently has going where a family with four lines can get through September unlimited talk and text plus 2.5GB per line for $100 a month.
Owens said that Sprint's new CEO, Marcelo Claure, did away with the company's "Framily" plans because he wanted to simplify things.
"He said, 'I want to make it really simple for our sales associates to understand exactly how we compare to others in the market,'" Owens explained.
Sprint’s new follows on Verizon announcement yesterday of a new $60 single-line plan that includes unlimited talk, text and 2GB of data. Verizon, however, will bring the price of that plan down to $50 if the customer signs up for Verizon’s Edge device financing program.
Verizon's 'More Everything' plans include data packages that range from 250MB to 100GB of data that can be shared with up to 10 lines. More Everything customers who choose Verizon Edge will also be eligible for $10 off their monthly smartphone access for data allowances up to 8 GB, and $25 off monthly smartphone access on plans of 10 GB and higher.