It seems AT&T is now considering “rethinking possible.” The largest mobile carrier has jumped into the game for early upgrades after all. This corresponds during a time Verizon made headlines from a leaked document referring to their new ‘VZ Edge’ plan that allows customers to upgrade earlier than the previous requirement of 24 months.
Officially, the four major carriers are now part of the upgrade craze. How will AT&T determine the availability? It appears they are borrowing some portions from all carriers. Basically, a consumer would be able to trade in their current smartphones every 12 months. The new price of the smartphone would be divided by 20 months and applied to the bill with no activation fees. Once the 12 months has arrived, you can now go trade-in your device and renew the cycle.
Like the other carriers, AT&T requires that the phone is in “good working order.” If it happens to be damaged, a representative can still give it a once over to determine a trade-in value, a lesser reimbursement. The ‘Next Plan’ is already raising eyebrows in the techie community, especially hours after Verizon’s ‘VZ Edge’ plan was leaked to media sources.
Now of course, come the variations. T-Mobile was the first company to implement this idea under their ‘Jump’ plan. Now that their biggest and most encompassing competitor has stepped into the match, it’s time for a review of these titans:
AT&T versus T-Mobile
- Down Payment
Winner: AT&T. Customers do not have to apply a down payment for their device, as T-Mobile requires. Instead, customers don’t have to pay a dime, the cost can now be applied to their monthly bill.
- Plan Discounts
Winner: T-Mobile. It’s one area in which AT&T is weak. Granted, while the telecommunications giant has the majority of the network coverage, which costs more, T-Mobile is also expanding into many more markets. They are also offering discounts on the Jump plans.
- Upgrade Frequency
Winner: T-Mobile. While T-Mobile gets a black eye for requiring the down payment, you can also upgrade twice a year. You also only pay the down payment once. AT&T allows the upgrade every 12 months. Customers not wanting to use the upgrade after that time will own the cell phone once the installment fee is paid in full.
- Upgrade Frequency Cost
Winner: AT&T. Yes, T-Mobile will allow you to upgrade every six months, but with the second upgrade you would have to pay 100 percent of the cost of the phone. AT&T allows you to continuously spread the payments over the a 20 month cycle for each upgrade.
Of course this review doesn’t take into consideration the plan offered by Verizon. The ‘VZ Edge’ has not been fully fleshed out and no explicit details have been released. For now, consumers are waiting to see what Verizon, the largest CDMA carrier, will reveal over the next few weeks. With AT&T’s announcement, it is likely Verizon will move a bit faster to detail the plan.
AT&T’s ‘Next’ plan is due to officially launch July 26th. This of course may create a wave of waiting period for consumers as they hold off purchasing their next smartphone, in anticipation of the special. In an economy of cost consideration and savings, AT&T made a move in the right direction. Stay tuned as Verizon releases more details and payment options for their highly anticipated ‘VZ Edge’ plan.