AT&T's Next device pricing for the 16GB Apple iPhone 5, comes in a tad lower than Verizon's Edge
This is the year that some of the major U.S. carriers, realizing how important it is for many of their customers to own the latest and greatest handsets, developed special plans for these customers that allow them to score updates, or even multiple updates, every year. AT&T has its Next program while Verizon's Edge is designed to do the same thing. T-Mobile has its JUMP! plan.
Almost immediately after AT&T introduced Next, T-Mobile jumped (no pun intended) on its rival for what the carrier's Andrew Sherrard basically called a "poor imitation" of JUMP! Under the terms of AT&T's Next, a handset is paid off monthly at a price between $15 and $50 a month depending on the retail price of the phone. The problem is that while AT&T is asking customers to pay a non-subsidized price for a new handset, it is not reducing the price of its monthly service, which was originally figured out by the carrier to help it earn back some of the cost of the subsidy for new phones that it was laying out.
Following the trashing that AT&T took in the press after introducing Next, the nation's second largest carrier cut the price of some of its handsets including the Apple iPhone. With these new prices in place, MacRumors compared the pricing for the 16GB Apple iPhone 5 using the AT&T Next plan, T-Mobile's JUMP! and Verizon's Edge. The Apple iPhone 5 has been reduced from $32.50 per month to $27 which works out to $324 a year. Verizon's plan adds up to a slightly higher $325. Before AT&T cut the price, its price was $390 for the iPhone 5.
Other reports indicate that AT&T has dropped the price of the Samsung Galaxy S4 to match its price with the iPhone and that price tags for Nokia and BlackBerry models on AT&T have been reduced. While there is still a lot of grumbling going on, it is apparent that these new plans are a work in progress.