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Last Wednesday, T-Mobile piled on to its Uncarrier offerings with the Jump plan, which allows customers to upgrade their phones as often as twice a year. Not to be outdone, the two largest carriers — AT&T and Verizon — also have plans for similar offerings. AT&T’s Next will let customers upgrade as often as once per year. Verizon’s Edge plan, which exists only as a leak at this point, will offer customers a subsidized upgrade option as soon as their device is 50% paid off.

att-nextThe AT&T Next plan puts a spin on T-Mobile’s new payment model. Instead of paying the subsidized price for your phone and being tied to a two-year contract, AT&T instead splits the cost of the phone up over a 20-month period. You have the option, however, to trade your phone in at the 12-month mark, have your remaining 8 payments forgiven, and jump into another financing plan with a brand new device.

AT&T’s once-per-year makes a little more sense than T-Mobile’s twice-per-year, as not many customers are upgrading twice a year, but there is a new iPhone or Galaxy device annually that customers probably wouldn’t mind getting. The downside to the AT&T Next plan is that you’re still paying the high subscription prices that are meant to subsidize your discounted phone, even though the phone isn’t subsidized anymore. This is something AT&T could address to make the plan a better value for the customer, but it would also muddle up the carrier’s pricing schemes, as well.

Information on Next is already out in the wild and the plan is “Coming Soon,” according to AT&T.

verizon-edgeAs far as Verizon’s Edge plan goes, we don’t have as much to go on — just a leaked slide from a presentation, tracked down by Droid Life. The plan appears to take a similar approach to the T-Mobile and AT&T plans, thanks to the device payment option that the company introduced back in March. This option lets customers buy a phone outright by splitting its cost into 12 monthly payments.

What Edge brings to the table is the ability to upgrade to another device when your current phone is 50% paid off. It’s not clear whether or not a customer would need to trade in their current device or if they would need to complete the payment plan on that device while starting a new one with a second phone.

According to the leaked slide, the program will launch officially on August 25. There is no indication at this point in time that Sprint plans to jump into the early upgrade game, though a plan could be quietly in the works.

What do you think of the upgrade plans AT&T and Verizon are launching to match T-Mobile’s Jump? And if you’re a Sprint customer, are you expecting something similar from that carrier? Drop us a line below.


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