AT&T has just announced a new upgrade eligibility program for its customers called AT&T Next.
Customers who opt for the AT&T Next program will be able to upgrade their smartphone or tablet every twelve months with no down payment, no activation fee, no upgrade fee and no financing fees, but there are a few catches.
With AT&T Next, customers don’t have to pay a down payment, but they have to pay a monthly installment for 20 months and get to keep the device. They also have the option to upgrade to a new device again with no down payment after 12 months, but need to trade-in the device.
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.
MacRumors explains how AT&T Next will work out if you want to buy an iPhone 5:
For customers purchasing a 16GB iPhone 5, they would pay $32.50 per month for 12 months, and could then upgrade to the latest iPhone — trading in the previous device. They would pay $390 over that time, with the phone being bought back for the equivalent of $260. If the customer makes the 20 monthly payments, they can upgrade to a new phone and keep the old one.
AT&T Next seems to be a direct response to T-Mobile’s JUMP program, a $10 per month program that allows customers to upgrade their smartphones twice a year. AT&T Next will be available from July 26.
Let us know what you think of AT&T Next. Do you plan to opt for it?