As expected, Sprint today unleashed the Force upon us. The new Sprint Force is a ZTE-made Android 4.0 smartphone that's now available for purchase on Sprint's website and in its stores for $49.99 with a two-year contract and $50 mail-in rebate. For that $49.99, buyers will be getting a device with a 4-inch 800x480 touchscreen and 1-megapixel camera on its face, a 5-megapixel shooter on its backside and 4G LTE connectivity built in. There's a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8960 processor inside the Force, 4GB storage, a microSD slot, 1GB RAM and NFC. A 1,730mAh battery powers the Force.
Along with the Force, Sprint also announced today that it's offering open enrollment for its device protection program during the month of March. Starting today, Sprint customers that originally chose not to sign up for a protection plan will be able to do so any time through March 31. Consumers can sign up for a Total Equipment Protection Plan for their smartphone that covers things like loss, theft and damage for between $8 and $11 per month. Sprint also offers a similar Assurant Advanced Protection Pack for tablets and netbooks that's priced at $13 per month. Customers interested in signing up for a protection plan must have a device that's functional and in their possession. Enrollment can be completed online or at a Sprint store.
Typically consumers are only given a short window of time after purchasing a device to sign up for a protection plan, but Sprint's open enrollment allows consumers that may have passed on a protection plan initially to sign up another opportunity to get one. Sometimes users opt not to sign up for protection when they first buy a device, possibly because they don't think they'll need it or because they don't want to pay more cash on top of their device purchase price or monthly rates, but then later on they realize that getting insurance may be a good idea after all. That's why it's nice to see Sprint offering its subscribers a second chance to sign up for a protection plan during the month of March. How many of you have an insurance plan for your mobile device?