AT&T and T-Mobile SIM cards

One is another option to buy a device, the other is giving the carrier more money for no good reason

We've seen a big couple of days in the mobile space. Following T-Mobile's announcement of its "boldest moves" last week that included a new way to upgrade your phone more often, AT&T announced today that it has launched its own device financing and upgrade scheme. "AT&T Next", as it is called, gives you another option to buy a phone outright on the carrier by paying the unsubsidized price spread out over 20 monthly payments. Similarly, T-Mobile's newly-announced JUMP! upgrade service lets users build on its device financing service to also allow returning of a device twice a year for a new handset with a monthly fee.

Both of these plans are new ways for you (and the carriers) to think about the device purchasing agreement, but that doesn't mean they're created equal. Let's do some (simple) math after the break.

By the numbers

While both AT&T and T-Mobile offer plans that look and sound similar on the surface, the numbers break down in different ways. To help illustrate how each carrier plans to have you pay off a phone purchase with JUMP! and Next, we're going to break down the purchase of a Samsung Galaxy S4 on both networks with the latest upgrade options.

T-Mobile JUMP!

T-Mobile's new JUMP! upgrade service offers you the option to pay a $10 monthly fee, which includes handset insurance, to then have the option to upgrade your device twice per year for no additional fee. The fee is separate from an Equipment Installment Plan (EIP), which lets you purchase a phone with little money down and the rest of the cost spread out over 24 monthly payments. When upgrading a device, you must return your current device to T-Mobile in order to move on to the new one.

Although this new plan does offer the ability to upgrade your phone potentially every 6 months, we break down the cost over 12 months with just 1 upgrade in order to keep it consistent with AT&T's plan, which we'll detail next.

The breakdown of T-Mobile charges after a year is as follows:

  • $150 down for the handset
  • $20 per month EIP x 12 months = $240
  • $10 per month JUMP! fee x 12 months = $120
  • Total at 1-year trade-in = $510

AT&T Next

AT&T Next is more of an all-in-one package, which combines both the upgrade features of JUMP! with the EIP program that T-Mobile offers separately. With Next, you purchase a phone by agreeing at the start to pay 20 equal monthly payments which in the end total the full off-contract/unsubsidized handset price. For example, the Galaxy S4 retails for $640, so the monthly payment is $32. After 12 months of payments, you then have the option to return the working device to AT&T and have the final 8 monthly payments wiped out, letting you then purchase a new handset for $0 down and with 20 new payments.

Next only allows you to upgrade once per year, and while it does not carry an additional monthly fee like JUMP! it also does not include handset insurance. For the breakdown below, we've included AT&T's $7 per month handset insurance to even the playing field a bit.

Again, the breakdown of charges after a year:

  • $0 down
  • $32 per month x 12 months = $384
  • $7 per month insurance x 12 months = $84
  • Total at 1-year trade-in = $468

Differences

As we noted, there are a few differences between these upgrade schemes. First up are the upgrade cycles -- T-Mobile will offer you two upgrades per 12 month period, while AT&T only offers 1 per year. T-Mobile's more frequent upgrades come at no additional cost, however, meaning that an upgrade at 6 months costs the same as at 12 months. This means that you can trade in that Galaxy S4 for an HTC One after 6 months, and swap even once more if you want before AT&T offers you the first and only upgrade of the year.

The flip side is that T-Mobile charges a monthly fee for the ability to upgrade, whereas AT&T simply charges the handset price. That is almost a wash if you choose handset insurance on AT&T, but in the end it is optional. As we noted above, T-Mobile requires a down payment for most handsets, whereas AT&T bakes the price into the monthly payment instead. In both cases, you're agreeing to buy the phone for a full off-contract price, and simply have the option to return it before you've paid it off to get a new one -- in essence, you're renting a phone.

The biggest difference of all is what T-Mobile's JUMP! and AT&T's Next mean for your final bottom line when pairing that device with the service it needs to run.

What about that subsidy?

And this is where we get to the big sticking point on AT&T's Next upgrade plans. Based purely on a device vs. device purchase basis, AT&T actually does offer the cheaper option for buying a phone on an installment plan and upgrading once every 12 months. What the above numbers don't show is how your monthly service charges don't change on AT&T regardless of whether or not you choose to buy a handset subsidized.

AT&T's service plans are structured and priced to factor in the cost of buying a subsidized handset on-contract every two years. The reason why you pay $200 on-contract for a Galaxy S4 is that the other $440 of the MSRP is spread out monthly in your service contract already. That roughly $20 per month subsidy is still included in your monthly service fee whether you choose to use that subsidy or not.

Calling AT&T's bluff

AT&T

When T-Mobile introduced its Equipment Installment Plans, it also dropped its monthly service charges by about $20 across the board. You aren't using a subsidy anymore, so they removed the subsidy from the cost of service. AT&T hasn't done this, but it sure seems to think that it has done something just as good -- and in AT&T's eyes, it has.

In effect what AT&T has done is create a situation where it entices you with a yearly upgrade in order to have more people buying phones at full retail price, while continuing to pay the same monthly fee as if they had a subsidy. AT&T wins all-around in this situation -- they don't have to subsidize a device, you continue to pay the same for service, you pay 60-percent of the cost of the phone over 12 months and you also give the device back to them so that they can re-sell it to another customer.

All for the "freedom" of being able to buy yet another device and do it all over again.

In a sense, instead of following T-Mobile's lead and decoupling the cost of the phone from the cost of the monthly service, AT&T has doubled up on its tried-and-true method of charging you for a phone subsidy whether you're using it or not. Not only will AT&T now let you finance a phone that you're already paying for, they have the balls to tell you it's a great deal.

 

Reader comments

T-Mobile and AT&T: JUMP to your Next phone purchase — or don't

86 Comments

I hope so. I have a strong feeling that Verizon's Edge plan is structured to rip people off at least as bad as AT&T Next. Should that be the case, I want them to suffer from it, as well.

Sprint in my opinion is keeping it simple. Get a contract, pay the $350 or lower ETF, phone is yours to sell or keep, start a new contract.
If you decide to sell back your device you get credit toward the price of the next phone you get on contract,

Posted via my themed "WHITE DRAGON" LiquidSmooth Sprint GSIII.

Undoubtedly. A couple of years ago , I would have defended VZW to the death. A vastly superior network for pennies more. After recent events-I can hardly wait to dump their asses. Go T-MOBILE.

Yeah watch AT&T jump to ripping of there customers as usual. Sorry friends Tmobile has em beat hands down period..

Posted from my Galaxy Note 2 using the android central application

I signed up for JUMP! yesterday. I was already paying $11.95 for the protection plan on my Note 2. This actually lowered my bill by 2 bucks. Now to wait for the Note 3.

Posted via Android Central App

Good luck my friend. I will purchase the Galaxy Note 3 then use jump with that purchase to line myself up for the next handset April 2014.

Posted from my Galaxy Note 2 using the android central application

You're back on T-Mobile? I thought you went to Verizon.

Posted via my themed "WHITE DRAGON" LiquidSmooth Sprint GSIII.

You do know that you won't be able to use JUMP! to get a new phone until the middle of January 2014, right? I LOVE the idea of JUMP!, I just hope people are realizing what's going on with it. I see a lot of people thinking they will be able to buy a phone in a couple months like the Nexus 5 or Note 3 but in actuality you won't be able to get a new phone until next year. But after that it's whenever you want!

no, that's with at next, with jump you wait 6 months and after the six months you can upgrade 2 times a year.

Posted via Android Central App on the Nexus 7 (2013)

Hands down tmobile jump is better, not to mention the monthly pricing. The good thing is tmobile has great service where I live. On an hsdpa data the average tmobile speed is 8-12mbps. Coupled with the great pricing and great indoor coverage the choice for me hands down is tmobile. I really can't believe att is trying something like this. I could see Verizon before I see att do this. Oh well. A smart consumer will see through this.

Via Android Central App from a Galaxy Note 2

The problem here is that AT&T will make a disgusting killing off this because the average consumer is sadly, stupid.

I know that consumers do some stupid things, but I don't think you give them enough credit. I think most will see through this and understand that they would be paying WAY more. Of course there will be some, but overall this is going to have a huge negative backlash for them. I honestly think T-Mobile is bouncing off the walls with excitement over what they can do with this. The only thing that would make it better is if Verizon implemented it too.

honestly i do not believe that your average consumer understand how current gen subsidized phones are financed exactly... Don't think they realize or even know that their phone bills are in fact high (compared to the world).

People will see 2 things:

No down payment.
Half the upgrade time if they trade in.

And i am afraid a lot will go for it. this isn't the first time that ATT has done something completely shady and deceiving and gotten away with it.

Verizon is adding it's own version. Leaked this week as "Verizon Edge"

I would say the average consumer isn't stupid per se, just uninformed. I'm a fairly informed consumer, especially when it comes to this field, and when I first heard of this i thought "huh, sweet". Then, I did a rough counting of the actual math and realized the truth. The average consumer won't do that math, especially the first time they'll confront NEXT will likely be with a in-store rep pushing it hard. Hell, most average consumers don't know that the subsidy price is extracted from you in your monthly payment whether you use your upgrade or not, without that, you can't even do the math that makes this seem insane.

your last statement about the subsidized price is very poignant, I, like most of you realized this a long time ago, which is why I always try to make use of my upgrade. I tell all my friends to upgrade as soon as they can too, because otherwise you are just letting ATT rape you on a daily basis. shady shady. I'm only on ATT because I still have grandfathered unlimited data, if they ever try to drop that (like verizon) I'll be gone as soon as I need a new phone.

T-Mobile if your reading this please improve the data speeds in the Ohio area and i will bring 5 phones your way

Posted via Android Central App

You need to be more specific. Ohio is a big area. They already have LTE in Akron, Cleveland, Columbus, and Dayton.

Eastside suburbs of Cleveland, T-Mobile had the worst service ever when I lived there. One of my eployees had to go out to the street to make phone calls.

Hhopefully they fixed that by now.

I would fall in love with T-Mobile if their coverage was a little better sigh, hopefully in another year

Great read BTW.

Posted via Android Central App

How do you do a write up on all three when VZ Edge hasn't been announced or even hinted at yet.

Posted via Android Central App

I wouldn't trust a word DROID-LIFE says. That's VERIZON FANBOY/MOTOROLA CENTRAL. All they try to do is prop up Verizon every chance they get.

Posted from my Galaxy Note 2 using the android central application

....You obviously don't read Droid-Life much, let alone the linked article. (FYI the owner uses T-Mobile)

Doesn't look like he 'reads' it much, but he does comment a lot on it about how bad VZW is. And he likes to do it in mostly all caps.

And if you had even bothered to read the linked article (which you obviously didn't) or even just skip right on down to the section labeled "Conclusion" or "Final Thoughts" in big bold letters, you'd find that the author backs up T-Mobile's new plans over Verizon or AT&T on price. But price isn't everything to everyone. Some people care more about coverage and that's something T-Mobile doesn't have and probably won't for several more years. Way to fail so hard, Dick.

I will still go with Tmobile Jump. I just picked up the Nexus4 a while back for no money down and a free wireless charger. That takes $150 off of your pricing estimate, and it makes it even more appealing. With the option to wait every 6 months to pick up a new phone, why wouldn't I just wait a couple months till there was a discount offered? I get the new phone and the discount. Win win.

Yup I hope that these programs draw attention to this subsidy scam... This could all backfire a bit for att and VZ...

I hope AC and the other tech blogs are calling AT&T reps for comments on this issue. They really need to have their feet held to the fire on this.

I finally figured out what att is doing he here. They saw with T-Mobile that consumers were will to accept loosing the subsidy. Therefore this is their attempt to ditch subsidies. The kicker is that they think they are doing it without discounting their service.

I know they have tried some shady things over the years, but this honestly takes the cake. The fact that they think they can do this shows an extreme arrogance and any share holder should be VERY worried about it. This is going to be a MASSIVE PR disaster. I bet T-Mobile is working overtime to punch out commercials attacking this. The next month will be very interesting and I wouldn't be surprised if the Verizon Edge plan died away before being announced.

Re:ATT
So I wonder if early termination fees will change for subsidy customers. I mean it's only 375. What's stopping me from paying that amount and then getting another subsidy phone and KEEPING the handset as well. It would be cheaper than this crap.

Posted via Android Central App

At&t's early termination fee is $325 for a smartphone. It reduces by $10 every month you retain service. ;-)

The "kicker," with your idea, is that you have to wait, at least 2 months, before being able to resign with AT&T. So, although paying the ETF could factor out to be cheaper, it certainly won't be convenient.

Posted via Android Central App

I think some people won't mind AT&T's setup even though it is just adding cost to their bill for no real reason aside from the fact that it's a no-interest pay back plan for a phone. Granted, if you want to upgrade early, you have to trade-in the phone though, so you've paid for a glorified rental at that point. Some people may see value in the convenience and less hassle.

An alternative would be to order a phone from Amazon if you're signed up for the Amazon Store Card. You have 12-months to pay it off with no interest if it costs $599 or more (6 months to pay it off with no interest if it's $149 to $598). I don't think it's a thing of whether or not people can afford it necessarily, but many just don't like to have such a big chunk of money taken out of their bank account unless it's absolutely necessary. Amazon didn't used to allow this, but I've noticed recently when I was shopping for a new device that it was available.

If you go the Amazon route, you may see higher monthly payments for the phone itself, but it's still no interest as long as you pay it off on time and you'll own the phone.

That said, where's Sprint on this? All of their major competitors came up with something. Where's their plan? I'm curious to see.

Finally. I was starting to lose faith in androidcentral when the original articles went up with almost no editorial criticisms.

More more everyday I wish I was with t-mobile instead of AT&T. Awesome write-up and I'm looking forward to switching to T Mobile.

Posted via Android Central App

I also want to switch... But its worse I'm with Verizon (Barf)

Posted via Android Central App on the Nexus 7 (2013)

I could be wrong on this but can't I just buy a phone straight out without renewing a contract? I mean hell if you are going to pay for the phone outright anyways then why renew. I am keeping my Unlimited Plan as long as I can, and when I buy a new phone in August, I will pay for it out right and activate it myself.

Using next won't renew your contact, you'd have a financing agreement instead. I don't know if they'll try to take your unlimited plan with next but you can definitely retain it using your traditional upgrade.

If you "upgrade" every 6 months, its cheaper to pay full price, and resell your device.

A phone like the GS4 you buy for 650, but can easily sell for 400 in six months, provided you keep it in good shape.

As long as you have the initail money to spend, you'd save hundreds over t-mob's option.

In your example your losing $250 buying the phone outright.

With tmobile your losing $280. Saving $30 is not worth the hassle of reselling the phone.

Furthermore if something happens to your phone the value is degraded losing even more money.

With tmobile the price/loss does not change.

Posted via Android Central App

They should just sell these phones at $399 retail and call it a day. It wouldn't hurt their bottom line.

That would be an issue that would have to be taken up with the manufacturer. The carrier doesn't really set the full price of the phone. In fact at my store we pay well more than that for virtually every smartphone. Our average markup is between 7% - 15%

I bought my GS3 a few months after its release for 300 though I'm still stuck paying VZ the extra sub money anyway, T-Mobile is just not a solid enough service in the area though need to try a phone for awhile to check on their improvements. At the end of the day certain things sound like a good deal on the surface but the companies are not doing it unless they are making money on it.

Current Crappy Subsidized System
Year 1: Buy $600 Subsidized phone for $200
Sell phone: ($200)
Year 2: Buy $600 unsubsidized phone for $600
Sell phone: ($200)
Total: $400

New Scam Next System
Year 1: Buy $600 phone for $30/month = $360/year
Give phone back: ($0)
Year 2: Buy $600 phone for $30/month = $360/year
Give phone back: ($0)
Total: $720

Common Sense System
Reduce bill $20/month for no subsidy ($480)/2 years
Year 1: Buy $600 phone
Sell phone: ($200)
Year 2: Buy $600 phone
Sell phone: ($200)
Total: $320

Or do what I do. Use two lines and upgrade every year plus an extra SIM for projects and testing phones and stuff.

I do option 1, but I typically sell my high end phone for at least 400 to 475. Normally it costs me no more than 200 out of pocket for a new phone. (400-600=200)

Currently though I am in better shape because I got my S4 Active from ATT from 100 and did not trade in a phone (Online option), so it will likely look like this for my next phone.

Year 1: Buy $600 Subsidized phone for $100
Total cost year 1: 100
Year 2: Buy $600 un-subsidized phone for $600 - 400 from sale of year 1 phone
Total cost for year 2: $200
Year 3 (Now out of contact): Buy $600 Subsidized phone for $200 (unless there is a better online deal)
Sell phone form year 2: for 400
Total cost for year 3: Make 200 profit

So after 3 years and 3 phone total cost 100

I use this leap frog system and it works for me. I always have the newest phone and the cost is minimal. If you time you sale of your current phone you can really leap frog any time really. The main trick to this system is to take really good care of your current phone and hold onto the OE box and accessories so you get the max value when you sale it.

I was about to reply with the same thing, if your only getting $200 for a one year old phone that retailed for over $600 your doing it entirely wrong. I do the same thing although I don't always wait the full year, timing when you sell the phones helps too.

Yes, I agree. I am getting around $300+ after fees/etc.. when I sell a phone. I was just using worst case to prove a point at how unbelievably BAD this new plan is.
I blame under-educated mass consumers. It so easy to swindle/confuse people when it comes to monthly plans. In the future, the carrier that wins is the one that will educate consumers to these scam plans. Give me an affordable plan and let me buy my own device void of carrier influence.

If you live in an area where T-mobile's service isn't an issue for you, you'd be dumb to pick ATT over T-mobile. If T-mobile can improve their coverage and gain customers it will force the other carriers to be more competitive.

Great article! Facts will be hard for anyone to refute.

While I've not been fooled by AT&T price gauging it's great when editorials call BS on scams.

Posted via Android Central App

This is going to flood the eBay market with used devices and most likely drive down the resale costs of the phones. Good for those of us who buy used phones from sellers on eBay, bad for those of us who sell on eBay.

But honestly who sells anything on eBay anymore with the eBay and PayPal fees being so high.

I'm sticking with prepaid service & will just purchase my phone as I go. Contract is a no go for me, phone cost break up or not!

At the end of the day these are options which is a good thing. They are going to be in the carriers favor. People want a way to get new phones sooner without forking over a wod of cash and you have an option. You don't have to sign up. You can still continue the old way or buy your phones outright.

AT&T will get people on board because they don't have to pay 2 to 3 hundred up front for that new phone even though they'll pay more in the long run.

T-Mobile to me is nice because you can get a phone every 6 months, the downside is you add 30 bucks to your bill and hundred down payment twice a year. If you're already paying for your phone on a monthly payment this really is only 10 bucks a month more. I like having my N4 and saving the money each month but that's me, it also is because the N4 costs so much less I was able to do that.

Posted via Android Central App

Nobody is being forced, I don't see how having more options is a bad thing.

I agree AT&T is pulling the wool over peoples eyes, they have been for years. They need to separate the subsidy from the phone plan like T-Mobile has done. They are taking more money from each customer who signs up for this plan, roughly $184 bucks a year (depends on what phone you buy). In return they will allow you not to pay $200 up front and let you get a phone a year sooner. Do I think it's a good deal, no but that doesn't mean someone else doesn't.

T-Mobile has given us a better option by far in my opinion. You can buy your phone and save $20/month on your bill. If you lease the phone you pay the $20/month until the phone is paid for. If you buy insurance + JUMP for another $10/month you can get a new phone every 6 months. Only downside is you'll likely never get out of paying the $20/month again because it wouldn't make much sense to pay the phone off.

Posted via Android Central App

In who's world is this new AT&T plan a good deal? This is exactly what I am saying, because it's another option and people don't fully grasp/ understand (you included)the end result they assume its OK. There is a huge problem with the way we handle phones here in the US. Too many people assuming they can get a lot for a little and this is just making it much worse. This is a terrible deal all together and AT&T is sugar coating it to make it sounds great. I can only image how hard the AT&T reps are going to be pushing this new plan on people making it sound like rainbows and unicorns.

The T-mobile plan sounds like a decent option. I would much rather have a plan that eliminates subsidies all together and reduces my monthly bill.

Not mine.

I'm just saying to someone it will be.

The salesman will say to customer. Hey if you want the top of the line phone for no upfront cost and you get a new phone every year instead of every two and all you have to do is pay 32 a month and again with no $200 down payment, would you be interested? A shit load of people will say yes because people in America like to buy everything on credit.

Again I said AT&T is fooling everyone they get into this plan.

Posted via Android Central App

What AT&T is doing amounts to a payday loan with slightly better terms. The devil is in the details here and it pretty much states that AT&T will have its cake and eat it, too.

When phones, and the technology in them, actually lasted most of the two years you were under contract subsidies were not a huge deal. As devices became more advanced and the rapid succession of better devices continues to exceed innovation found elsewhere, waiting two years for an upgrade meant seeing several phases of development pass your equipment by.

I see mid-range devices selling better over the next year, primarily because they would have a lower down payment and as is the case with T-Mobile you can upgrade every 6 months. I'm using a Motorola Atrix HD right now, and would love to upgrade before August 2014. However that being said I don't know if I want to spend $800 on a phone that will be outdone in 3 months or spend $500 on a phone that already has an acceptable feature set and should be relevant for at least a year. Shoot, my phone is still running Ice Cream Sandwich so I can mirror the display on my Lapdock.

Top-tier devices will sell though, primarily because people who couldn't stand to wait or afford to pay off-contract pricing will see this as an affordable option for them. Too bad it's just a loan, and the only real benefit is an early upgrade.

I would rather just pay off the contract over a period of time (5-7 months) and be eligible for a new device when I want one.

You obviously didn't read the article.

Your not saving any money on AT&T because your already paying for a subsidized phone.

Tmobile has reduced the phone plan rates. So you are saving money if you own your own phone. Else you can use their JUMP program or just use their EIP program.

Posted via Android Central App

I did read the article, I never said AT&T is saving you money. I said in fact they are taking everyone who signs up for roughly an extra $184 a year.

Posted via Android Central App

If you're still on contract with att you still owe them for w/e phone you got the contract with. Until then there's not a downfall in their version. Once your contract is up its a different story.

Posted via Android Central App

It's simple.
Unless you work in the middle of no where.. or maybe you are a cross country truck driver traveling through the plains states ( Little to no coverage ).. Then T-Mobile is the better deal.
And for those that are not trying to impress everyone they know (A.K.A. Geeks) with what's inside their handset Pre-Paid T-Mobile is ABSOLUTELY the Smart Choice.. Buy a nice handset outright (Prism II starts at $89.99 Windows Nokia 521 $129.99 LG-L9 $199.00 the S4 etc) and for $50.00 bucks a month you have UNLIMITED EVERYTHING and T-Mobile phones have a little thing called *Wi-Fi Calling*..if you are anywhere near a town other than a Mayberry, there should be so many Hotspots with Active-Open Wi-Fi you should never have an issue calling, txting, browsing etc over that Wi-Fi.. should the need arise. So sub-par signal strength with T-Mobile is somewhat of a myth.. you just need to enable Wi-Fi Calling.. So, no matter how you slice it.. T-Mobile is poised to become the Top Carrier in the next 12-18 months.. just watch and see.

I must be the only person who is happy with Verizon. I'm on their share everything plan with 4 other people. When doing price comparison shopping (this was based on subsidized pricing on AT&T, Verizon, and then Tmobile's installment options), Verizon came out $30-40 cheaper, I'm probably an edge case but I'm sticking with Verizon till the others can get me the same quality of service, coverage, and speeds for the same price.

For me and my wife I pay $120 a month for both our smart phones with the subsidized pricing and 2gb of data. This same thing at tmobile is $100 a month before the payment plan which would be about $140 a month for our current phones.

I love this concept. It's OPTIONAL for one. What AT&T/Verizon are doing essentially is creating lines of credit for people who want to buy the latest gadget every year. If you CHOOSE to purchase a new device at full-price, you can and they will disperse those payments over a 12 month period and allow you to buy another device with no money down. Personally, I don't care about the alleged "baked in" subsidies. As long as I continue to get great service from my carrier, I will continue to pay them what I feel they are worth. What would be amazing is if they would permit annual upgrades for customers that have been with them for a certain amount of years as a 'loyalty' kind of benefit. I understand not wanting to allow upgrades each year for customers with shaky or unknown history with the carrier, or people who have called in constantly for credits, etc... but if they are people like me who have been loyal for 5+ years and have paid their bills on-time every month and have hardly required any account adjustments, it doesn't seem unreasonable to get some sort of "special" treatment in the form of annual upgrades (not for free of course, just the cost of a new contract like they do now).

And this is why we pay so much for phone service. Another person who doesn't understand how the current system works. AT&T will continue to rip us off as long as people like you can be fooled into thinking this is great.

Do you understand that when you get a phone at a discounted upgrade price you are already paying monthly for that discounted rate. AT&T is not being kind and giving you and expensive phone for cheap, you are still paying for it. Why do you think early termination fees are so high? It's so they can recoop the cost of the subsidies.

If you can't afford to pay for a phone outright, you shouldn't be buying the phone!! There are plenty of other better options, used, refurbished, midrange devices, NEXUS! In fact if you stick with the current system, in 2 years you would have save $320+, that enough to get you a new tablet. So in conclusion go ahead and keep making things expensive for yourself and everyone else and buy into these BS scams. Ill keep buying phones every year with the current system and keep a bunch of money in my pocket.

Current Crappy Subsidized System
Year 1: Buy $600 Subsidized phone for $200
Sell phone: ($200)
Year 2: Buy $600 unsubsidized phone for $600
Sell phone: ($200)
Total: $400

New Scam Next System
Year 1: Buy $600 phone for $30/month = $360/year
Give phone back: ($0)
Year 2: Buy $600 phone for $30/month = $360/year
Give phone back: ($0)
Total: $720

One thing these plans might do is convince people to go ahead and buy now not wait for the next great thing. No one wants to buy the old iphone when a new one everyone knows is just around the corner. Not saying its a good deal for the consumer but the carriers can use it as a reason to convince you not to wait.

WTF AT&T? So, I can get a device a year into my contract, and pay on it for 20 months, at which point my 24 month contract will be up and I will already have an upgrade available. Well, at least it's nice to know they have that 12 month turn in date. That way after paying hundreds of dollars on a phone I can just go ahead and give that phone right back to them. I may have $500 into that new device, but I'm glad I'll never have to see that thing again!

Just buy your own phone and save hundreds. Resell when you hate your phone.

Posted via Android Central App