Smartphone Carriers Get Smart Before iPhone 5 Launch

Before the expected launch of the iPhone 5, the main companies that will carry this new smartphone are doing their best to protect themselves from subscribers having a change of heart.

With new advanced gadgets on the way, the companies need to make sure that customers that buy subsidised devices as part of their contract, keep paying for services and won't abandon the contract before term ends.

This is not a recent concern and some companies took early precautions, while others threw in softer penalties.

Verzion raised the smartphone early termination fee to $350 almost two years ago, as it began to market Droid-branded phones running Android. In the spring of 2010, Google and T-Mobile pushed it even further with a $550 early termination fee for Nexus One, which came in for scrutiny from the US Federal Communication Commission. In the same summer AT&T followed the trend and raised the early termination fee for the iPhone, from $175 to $325.

Recently, Sprint adapted its early termination fee policy to the company's shift in strategy. Since the company is marketing more sophisticated and expensive smartphones, leaving behind feature phones, subscribers will be charged $350 when they abandon their contract, from the 9th of September.

Just in time for the launch of iPhone5.

Even though it's still very hush-hush, and Sprint employees are strongly advised not to comment on the matter, the Wall Street Journal has already announced that Sprint, Verizon and AT&T will carry the new iPhone.