New plan avoids sales tax, allows upgrades every 24 months
Sprint has announced a new option for iPhone users or potential buyers on its network with a new program, "iPhone for Life," that allows users to rent, rather than purchase, an iPhone model and routinely upgrade it every two years by simply adding $20 per month to their existing or new plan. New Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure explained that the $20 monthly fee would be for a base model, but customers save on financing or paying full price on the device by avoiding sales tax.
Lovefilm shuttering game rental option in UK on August 8th
Streaming and DVD rental service Lovefilm is putting a stop to video game rentals in the United Kingdom. The Amazon-owned service has already removed the option for new subscriptions, with Eurogamer reporting that existing subscribers will be able to continue receiving game discs until its full closure on August 8th. Lovefilm will still be providing DVD and Blu-ray rentals by post for the foreseeable future.
Year-long contract offers new handsets, quicker upgrades
UK mobile network Vodafone has introduced a new phone contract that offers handset leasing. Called Red Hot, customers can pay for a contract for a 12-month period with unlimited calls, unlimited texts, insurance, and 2GB of data allowance, with the option of switching the handset for a newer model after the year's rental has completed.
Beta system allows for two-month rentals, filmmaker pricing
Vimeo has updated its service to include pay-per-view rentals. Available to content creators in a private beta, the new Movies service allows filmmakers to recoup their costs by offering their projects to viewers as streamed rentals, with automatic downloads to a "Watch Later" list for offline access expected to be offered shortly after the preview phase.
Netflix, LG set-top box
Online DVD rental service Netflix and Korean electronics-giant LG have announced that they are working on a set-top box designed to stream movie content directly over the internet to a television. Netflix has long said it wishes to branch out its internet movie delivery feature, which allows members to play content on their PC from a library of over 6000 movies and TV shows. Reuters reports that the device will function in a similar fashion to the PC internet streaming, where users that subscribe to Netflix’ DVD rental service would also get access to the TV streaming service. LG says that the Netflix set-top box will be available at some point during the second half of 2008.