Today, AT&T introduced "AT&T Next", a plan that allows consumers to get a new AT&T smartphone or tablet every year with no down payment, no activation fee, no upgrade fee and no financing fees.
The new plan is AT&T's response to similar offers by its rival T-Mobile US. According to it, AT&T's customers purchase a smartphone or tablet with no down payment and agree to pay monthly installments for the device. After 12 payments, they can trade it in and upgrade to a brand new device - again with no down payment - or they can keep using their device and have no more payments after 20 months. AT&T Next is available for new AT&T customers or existing customers who are upgrade eligible.
AT&T Next is available for any current smartphone or tablet in AT&T's selection of devices. 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.
T-Mobile launched last week an upgrade offer that will let subscribers for a monthly fee of US$10 trade in their existing phones for a new model at a T-Mobile store as often as twice per year, once they've been on its Jump plan for at least six months. Customers don't have to wait until the end of a two-year contract or finish paying off a device in monthly installments. When they upgrade phones, customers will not have to pay remaining installments and can purchase new phones for the same price as new customers. The $10 fee also offers protection against malfunction, damage, loss or theft.