Following in the footsteps of the competition AT&T has just unveiled what it calls "AT&T Next", a new way of financing and upgrading handsets. With Next, AT&T customers will have the ability to upgrade their handset with no money down every 12 months, assuming that they sign up from the beginning with a payment plan on their current device. The system is loosely similar to T-Mobile's current JUMP! and Equipment Installment Plans, but breaks down differently, and in some ways more simply.
When purchasing a device and signing up for service, you will now have the option to buy a phone via Next on an installment plan. The device will have no down payment, but you will pay the full, unsubsidized price over equal monthly payments for 20 months. After 12 completed payments you will have the option to trade in your (working, undamaged) device and receive a new one — again, with no money down — and have the remaining eight monthly payments on the original phone wiped out.
The monthly installments will run between $15 and $50, depending on the phone, and are a function of evenly dividing the full retail price of the phone by 20 months.
By way of example, AT&T says, a Samsung Galaxy S4 in Next will cost $32 a month on top of your monthly service plan. You'll be able to trade it in and upgrade after 12 payments, or pay it off in full after 20 months. That's based on the full $639 purchase price of a 16GB model.
You then then have a new 20-month cycle of paying the full unsubsidized price of the new phone, which you can cut short again at 12 months and start all over. If you prefer, you can always opt to finish paying the 20 months of payments and own the device outright. There's no penalty for paying off early.
There is no indication with the materials available now that AT&T will have a service contract requirement for Next, but continual monthly service is required in order to keep the installment plan going. AT&T Next will be available as a purchase option for new customers and current customers with available upgrades starting July 26 and can be applied to purchase any phone or tablet that AT&T offers.
AT&T Customers Can Get a New Smartphone or Tablet Every Year With No Down Payment With "AT&T Next"
No Down Payment, No Upgrade or Activation Fees, and All On The Nation's Fastest 4G LTE Network AT&T 4G LTE Now Covers More than 225 Million People
Dallas, Texas, July 16, 2013 - 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 — 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.
“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 — 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 — 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
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