AT&T Next to let you upgrade every 12 months, starting July 26th

AT&T Next to let you upgrade every 12 months, starting July 26th
Last week, and just the day before T-Mobile's announcement that included its new frequent upgrade plan called JUMP, AT&T teased that it would be announcing something on July 16th. It just became July 16th just over half an hour ago on the east coast of the US, and AT&T has already released the announcement that it is starting its own frequent upgrade plan called AT&T Next.

The plan is slightly different from T-Mobile's offering. The two main differences are that AT&T Next will only allow you to upgrade once a year, not twice like T-Mobile's JUMP; but, AT&T isn't charging anything up-front when you buy a device. AT&T Next can be used with either a smartphone or tablet, and when you purchase, you won't pay anything up front, and there will be no activation fee, upgrade fee, or financing fee. The per month cost ranges from $15 to $50, and is set up so you would finish paying off the device after 20 months, if you choose to keep it.

The example that AT&T gives is that if you purchase a Samsung Galaxy S4, there would be no up-front cost, but you would pay $32 per month. If you ran the whole length of the deal ($32*20) the device would end up costing you $640. But, after you've made 12 payments, you could simply trade-in the device for something new, at which point you would start a new payment plan. When you trade-in, anything you owe is waived, but of course you don't get to keep the device after paying $384 to use the S4 for a year. 

The old options for upgrading with AT&T remain. So, you can still get discounts on new devices after 6 months, if you can't wait for the free upgrade at 12 months. Also, you can share an upgrade with someone else on your account, as long as its for the same device category (so you can't share a smartphone upgrade and get an iPad). And, you can always buy a device outright, or bring your own unlocked device to the network. 

There was a leak earlier today saying that Verizon is aiming to also jump into the frequent upgrade space, so we may see these plans get more competitive as we go. According to the leak, Verizon would let you upgrade as long as you've paid half the cost of the device. Although, Verizon's plan isn't expected until late August. 

AT&T Next, on the other hand, will be launching for customers on July 26th.

source: AT&T



10. debugger919 unregistered

One question, after 12 months when I "trade in" the phone, do I get any money back, like selling an used car to a car dealer? If not, then this is not a "trade in", rather an exchange for another phone.

9. theoak

Posts: 324; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

What about early termination fees? Does AT&T still require you to hang around for 2 years? Yes, they let you get a new phone early ... but say you pay the phone off early ... do they let you jump ship if you want? Also, once paid off, do they let you unlock the phone, or again, do you have to wait the 2 years?

6. So-Sayz-Eye

Posts: 31; Member since: Nov 08, 2011

I might be wrong but I thought we had contracts and all these other charges in order to pay of our phones subsidized prices. So if I'm paying extra every month in order to upgrade sooner, why is there no lowered rate plans or lower internet plans be offered with NEXT or any of these other early upgrade plans?

7. tacarat

Posts: 855; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

This might make more sense for things like tablets because they have relatively low carrier subsidies. Factor in your credit card interest rate and waived activation/upgrade fee compared to fronting all of the money. It works out similar but it's spread out. I don't think it's that great for regular phones with bigger chip ins. If you're doing it for a phone, then you're the same type that will lease a car. And that's basically what this is. A leasing program. It'd be nice if this worked with their prepaid options.

8. tacarat

Posts: 855; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

iPhone 5, $236 regular upgrade, $486 early upgrade. Next : $0 upfront, $32.50/month, $390 after 12 months, $585 after 18 months. So, in theory, a new $200 iPhone every year will run cheaper for "must have" types if they can do the trade in. 3 years of keeping up with new idevices would be $1,208 ($236+$486+486) vs $780 ($390+390). Letting the tail end run normally would be what makes it an unattractive option, so folks would be more inclined to just get a new phone anyhow. This discounts the value of a trading in the old iphone or selling it on a regular contract, though. It's late... I'm thinking of things slowly >.> I really wished they were announcing LTE where I live.

5. miguelmeza14

Posts: 61; Member since: Apr 20, 2013

Great news. But I'm wondering if you could arrange the payments so that you can finish paying the phone in less than 20 months.

4. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

T-Mobile is starting a new trend and look at other top carriers starting to follow them lol. Love my Magneta network.

3. trustory

Posts: 132; Member since: Jan 23, 2013

i hate to say it but it's better than tmobiles

2. bugsbunny00

Posts: 2267; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

no! t-mobile is great news.upgrade 2x in one yr. new phones releases every yr.

1. christianqwerty

Posts: 467; Member since: May 05, 2011

Yes! Great news.

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