AT&T has just gotten into the accelerated upgrade game in a big way with their new Next program. Here's the gist, if you're a new customer or are currently eligible for an upgrade, you can buy a new phone or tablet with no downpayment, but with monthly installments. After 12 months, you can switch to a new phone or tablet, also with no downpayment, and keep on with the installments. Or, you can keep paying down on the original phone or tablet for a total of 20 months and be free and clear. AT&T Mobility president and CEO, Ralph de la Vega said in a prepared statement:
With AT&T Next, customers can get the newest smartphone or tablet every year with no down payment. That’s hard to beat, and it’s an incredible value for customers who want the latest and greatest every year.”
No word yet on how the math works out for iPhone customers, but AT&T offers the following Android example:
The interest-free monthly device installments range from $15 to $50, depending on the device selected. For example, a customer purchasing a Samsung Galaxy® S 4 would have no down payment and pay $32 per month, in addition to the monthly wireless service plan they choose, with the option to trade in their device and upgrade after 12 payments or to keep using the device and pay off the installment plan in full after 20 months. There’s no penalty for paying off the installment plan early.
We'll have to run the numbers and see what ends up being cheaper, AT&T's new Next deal or the Jump program announced by T-Mobile last week. But in the meantime, check out what AT&T is offering and let me know, if you're an existing customer, will you hop on Next, and if not, is Next enough to make you consider switching?