I’ve always felt that a two-year contract was always a little inconvenient and awkward- If you don’t get an upgrade, you’ll be stuck with a phone that will be outdated in two years time.
Smartphone manufacturers are now releasing a new flagship each year, and many are refreshing their flagship with a more powerful phone or phablet by the end of the year as well, so if you’re into having the latest and greatest tech, a 2-year contract really isn’t viable.
Matthew posted yesterday about the new AT&T Next program, an option that allows smartphone users to get a new smartphone every year if they feel the need to do so. When a user of this program gets a new phone, they will have to pay the cost of the handset for the next 20 months in monthly installments, but can swap to a new handset in 12 months instead of sticking throughout the whole 20 month plan with the same smartphone.
The fine print? The monthly payments for your AT&T Next smartphone do not cover your other contract prices. This means you will have to pay the monthly fee for the phone and the monthly contract fees. If you want unlimited Talk, Text, and want to buy the Galaxy S4 at $32/month, you’ll be forking a crazy $112/month!
So the AT&T Next deal isn’t as glorious as it first sounded It is still a viable route, albeit expensive. There are other options though-
T-mobile were the first to make a move on this new 12-month smartphone program with their T-mobile Jump! Service, and Sprint and Verizon are sure to follow. As it seems so far, T-mobile’s program seems cheaper, with just $10/month to cover the Jump program and insurance, and $20/month to cover the Galaxy S4 payment on top of that, and of course their unlimited talk/texts are bundled into a cheaper package. If you want unlimited data on top of that, you’re still going to have to fork out a crazy $100 per month!
These new programs obviously appear to be all friendly to the customers, and at face value offer something that allows customers to get brand new smartphones at a cheaper price. The truth of the matter is with these new programs you’ll be paying for the contract and the smartphone, as opposed to getting a contract with a smartphone for free.