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. 

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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

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