T-Mobile might be making waves with their JUMP! program but, it seems that AT&T isn't content to just let them take all of the limelight, and so they're unveiling their own program. Keeping in tune with the core idea of T-Mobile's JUMP! program, AT&T will debut their Next program, come July 26th, that will allow their customers to get access to a new smartphone or tablet every 12 months. Of course, this being AT&T - or any wireless carrier, for that matter - there are caveats but, thankfully, they're pretty clear to work out and get your head around.
It's quite simple really, on AT&T next, you can upgrade your device after 12 months by trading the device in and then choosing a new phone. There are, as AT&T is putting it "no down payments, no activation fees, no upgrade fees and no financing fees", which is certainly nice. AT&T next will let you upgrade if you've paid at least 12 months worth of service and you account is in good standing, which goes without saying. From the Press Release:
Upgrade after 1 yr.: Req. min. 12 installment payments, acct. in good standing, plus trade-in of current device in good & functional condition & purchase of new device/wireless agreement & service plan. After upgrade remaining unbilled installment payments are waived. AT&T Next available only at AT&T owned retail stores & att.com.
The whole thing seems pretty clean-cut to us, you'll end up paying for your device in installments with your bill, and after 12 months it's up to you to trade in and upgrade or continue to pay off the device, at month 20 your installment payments will cease. If you trade in your device, the remaining installments are waived and it all starts up again with your chosen new toy.
So, let's say you want the new Galaxy S4 on this Next plan, assuming they're charging the same $199.99 for the device (let's call it $200), you'll be paying installments of $10 a month, so $120 for 12 months and a trade in, or full price for the device if you decide to keep it. Of course, we're not sure how much AT&T are going to be charging for phones on this plan but, we wouldn't be surprised if AT&T will be charging full price for the devices. If so, that would make the Galaxy S4 $640, at $32 a month. The plan also features tablets as well as smartphones, and will be available come July 26th, you can read all about it in the Press Release from AT&T below, and a little video.
Today, AT&T* introduces what's next in wireless. Beginning nationwide on July 26, consumers can get a new AT&T smartphone or tablet every year with no down payment, no activation fee, no upgrade fee and no financing fees.**
With AT&T Next, 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 â€” again with no down payment â€” 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.
"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," said Ralph de la Vega, president and chief executive officer of AT&T Mobility.
AT&T's 4G LTE network now covers more than 225 million people nationwide and 328 markets. AT&T's 4G LTE deployment is expected to cover 300 million people by year-end 2014, with nearly 90 percent of the build completed by the end of this year.
The great performance of AT&T's network continues to be validated by independent third-party testing. AT&T 4G LTE service was recognized as having faster average download and upload speeds than any of our competitors in PCWorld/TechHive's most recent 20-market speed tests â€” the second consecutive year that AT&T has ranked first overall. PCWorld/TechHive also ranked AT&T's as the fastest combination of 3G and 4G services in the 20 cities it tested.*** And AT&T was named America's fastest 4G LTE network in PC Magazine's 2013 Fastest Mobile Networks 30-market study â€” and also swept the top rankings in all six U.S. regions from coast to coast: Northeast, Southeast, North-Central, South-Central, Northwest and Southwest.****
AT&T Next is available for any current smartphone or tablet in AT&T's industry-leading 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.
AT&T offers a broad choice of device purchasing options. In addition to AT&T Next, customers continue to have their choice of all current options, including getting a discounted device with a two-year service commitment; paying full retail price for a device with no-commitment; getting a partial discount for an early upgrade after six months with a two-year service commitment; or bringing their own compatible device.
More information is available at www.att.com/next or at any AT&T retail store.
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
** Requires 20-month 0% APR installment agreement & qualifying credit. Wireless service req. (voice & data for smartphones/data for tablets). If you cancel wireless service, remaining balance on device becomes due. Sales tax due at sale. Qualifying devices only. Upgrade after 1 yr.: Req. min. 12 installment payments, acct. in good standing, plus trade-in of current device in good & functional condition & purchase of new device/wireless agreement & service plan. After upgrade remaining unbilled installment payments are waived. AT&T Next available only at AT&T owned retail stores & att.com. If device is returned, restocking fee up to $35 for smartphones or 10% of tablet sales price may apply. Terms subject to change.
*** PCWorld/TechHive, May 23, 2013, "AT&T clocks best overall speeds with 3G/4G combo"
**** PC Magazine, June 17, 2013; http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2420333,00.asp