AT&T Mobility unveils fast-upgrade ‘Next’ plan

“This is how competition works: last night AT&T unveiled ‘AT&T Next,’ a new subscription plan that lets AT&T customers trade in and upgrade their phones or tablets every 12 months with no up-front down payment on each phone,” Sascha Segan reports for PC Magazine.

“AT&T Next comes on the heels of T-Mobile’s ‘Jump’ plan, which lets subscribers upgrade twice a year,” Segan reports. “Verizon is reportedly working on a similar annual upgrade plan… ‘VZ Edge.'”

Segan reports, “To use AT&T Next, AT&T subscribers agree to pay a monthly fee for their device on top of their regular AT&T service plan. Monthly fees range from $15-$50… You’re on the hook for 20 payments. After 12 payments, you can trade in your device and get a new one, and the clock starts again. There are no activation or upgrade fees. After 20 payments, the device is paid off. There doesn’t appear to be a contract for service, only for the device itself. If you want out, you can pay off the device price early.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

17 Comments

    1. How could you bring yourself to upgrade your iPhone when it seems likely that Apple will be releasing a new model within the next 3 months? I’m asking because I’m on a 4S and would love to have the 5, but I can’t see upgrading to the 5 when the 5S is just around the corner (presumably).

  1. This is probably the most expensive way to have an iPhone ever devised, but ironically enough, so many math-challenged Americans will perceive it as the best deal ever (getting a “free” iPhone and being able to replace it every year).

    That monthly add-on fee will be billed as a part of AT&T’s wireless service. As such, it gets taxed by the states, and in some states, taxes for wireless service approach (even exceed) 20%. So, instead of paying just regular retail tax for the phone you’re purchasing (or leasing), which is always well below 10%, you are essentially forced by AT&T to donate money to your state, in the form of wireless service taxes, even though that part of the bill that pays off the phone is NOT a wireless service, but a loan (or lease) payment for the device.

    The only carrier that doesn’t do this is T-Mobile. There, you sign up for the plan, which is always the same, and buy the device separately, either at full price ($650 for the iPhone), or on interest-free loan over two years. You just pay retail tax for the full price of the device up-front, and then the installments are interest-free and NOT taxed.

    1. If only T-Mobile had reasonable coverage. I’m on the hill overlooking Sandy Hook in NJ. Clear line of sight to lower Manhattan. I would have thought that they’d have decent coverage at my house, but it’s not the case. 2 blocks away they have decent coverage, but not at my house. What a shame. Reminds me of PBS. Can’t keep a signal on a decent OTA HDTV antenna.

      1. Well, that’s always the ultimate deal-breaker…

        Who knows, now that T-Mobile has the iPhone and has stopped hemorrhaging subscribers, perhaps Deutsche Telekom will finally notice that there is some potential for profit there after all, and make an effort to expand the network a bit more aggressively…

    2. This isn’t for the math challenged. It’s for the ones who buy a new unlocked phone every September because they don’t wanna wait for their upgrade period to end.

  2. Please, correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t a portion of our wireless bills already go towards paying for our subsidized phones? Therefore, if you choose to go this new route, aren’t you paying twice?

  3. The whole thing is based on paying the FULL RETAIL PRICE, so lets do the math.
    1 unsubsidized iPhone = $600 +/-
    Divide that by 20 payments = $30

    12 payments before upgrading = $360
    Initial tax on $600 = $48

    All in, about $408 to upgrade every year with AT&T Next, and if you don’t upgrade at the 12 month mark, the price goes up by $30 a month.

    Can’t see the savings from buying new subsidized iPhone and not paying anything after 12 months.

  4. DO NOT FALL FOR IT!!

    AT&T is the biggest Crook.
    when will we American stop fooling ourselves & when will our corporate greed culture stop f’g with consumers & taking their hard-earned $ for granted?! This is the biggest joke.

    AT&T reality:
    1. GREED:
    1st, how dare they penalize us when we want to upgrade?! wtf? we pay them monthly anyway, who cares if we get a new phone?! subsidy my ass. they make so much $ from overcharging for every little thing, sms, video, data, vm, minutes etc. that they make plenty of profit each year from each customer even after paying off Apple for the iPhone. They get out loyalty, wtf do we get for it being treated so disrespectfully?!

    2. SAVINGS LIE: see commentator above “RevDrX”: “Next” Plan is only advantageous for AT&T not YOU! they use typical American marketing tactics/hype as it seems cheap at $15-$50 extra per month when you pay $300 penalty to break 2year contract. But you end up paying double the 2yr or former penalty!! If you pay the $50/mth x1yr you reached $600!

    3. FARCE: of course we American always abuse & AT&T ONLY offers this thanks to the Germans! T-Mobile offered “Jump” plan earlier! Plus TM offers upgrades 2x year. Plus again, for free, not at extra monthly payments!!

    AT&T:
    1. hyped abuse with deals
    2. their Antennas are hyped to be installed at an amazing rate every year but reception is getting worse.
    3. they open all your private data to the gov. when it is NOT law

    1. I agree w u rolf. And I have noticed a decrease in good reception since the iPhone 4 came out. But yet they say they have good coverage in my area. It’s BS!!

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