Sprint originally announced it would be carrying the 7-inch ZTE Optik tablet back in February, but it looks like the carrier wants to start moving them out the door a little quicker. TechnoBuffalo has heard from one of its sources that Sprint is planning to launch a new promotion starting August 12th that will give customers the tablet for free with the purchase of any smartphone and a two-year contract. Unfortunately, there's still a small catch — customers taking advantage will have to sign up for a two-year contract on the tablet as well.

The Optik features a 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor and 16GB of storage, and was already priced to move at a subsidized cost of $99.99. It's hard to know if the offer will turn any heads, but if you're a Sprint customer looking for a tablet and the Nexus 7 isn't your style, it might be worth checking out. According to TechnoBuffalo's sources, the promotion will run through September 30th.

Update: We've confirmed with three Sprint stores that the deal should be running starting on August 12th, although it's not completely clear whether it will be offered in-store, online, or both. As rumored, it sounds like you'll need to sign up for a tablet contract along with the phone one.