AT&T announces 'AT&T Next' - Offers customers yearly upgrades on payment plans

By Bla1ze on 16 Jul 2013 12:07 am EDT

T-Mobile created a ton of headlines recently when they announced their new JUMP upgrade program for customers. Not one to stand by and watch the competition get ahead, AT&T has now announced 'AT&T Next', a new way of financing and upgrading handsets. As part of Next, AT&T customers will have the ability to upgrade their handset with no money down every 12 months assuming you sign up for a payment plan with your device from the beginning.

In short, AT&T will now allow you to buy a new device on a payment plan with no down payment but you'll be paying the full, unsubsidized price over equal monthly payments for 20 months. After you're 12 months into that payment plan, you can opt to trade in your undamaged, working device and receive a brand new one with again no down payment and the remaining 8 months of your previous device payments will be wiped out. 

So what will the monthly payments look like? According to the press release put out by AT&T, folks looking to get in on Next will see the interest-free monthly device installments range from $15 to $50, depending on the device selected. 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.

Read the full press release from AT&T

Topics: AT&T Carriers

Reader comments

AT&T announces 'AT&T Next' - Offers customers yearly upgrades on payment plans


Seriously Verizon wtf!!!! Hope you release a good ass update when/if u ever do!!!! Before vzw had the Z10 I had won a gsm model & used it for a bit on a prepaid plan thru SIM mobile & had the update that improved the battery life c'mon already... I'm installing the leaked OS today

Posted via CB10

Hmmmm.... Oligopoly behavior?? :-P I can't wait for VZW to follow! [hopefully...] except I would like to keep the phone, and rather pay for the ability to upgrade...

Doesn't look like it, you just have to keep paying the monthly installments.

"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."

So....if I'm reading this right, they just keep taking on 2 year service agreements every time you want a new device after 12 months?

Way to go AT&T, takes you 2 freakin months to bring 10.1 to your customers but you can hash out a hardware upgrade plan (which seems horrible IMO) overnight.

Posted via CB10 using a Z10

I read somewhere that you have to maintain monthly service in order to keep paying by installments. So, that would be almost the same thing as a contract.

The key is whether you pay a penalty fee to terminate it early or not. As long as you 'keep monthly service', whether you have a 100 year contract or no contract is irrelevant.

Posted via CB10

I'm sure they'd want you to pay off whatever you owed on the phone, that's basically an ETF isn't it?

That's what I would think. Instead of the ETF on your contract, now it'll probably be just pay off the rest of your phone debt and you're good to go. OMG I'm so happy about this though!

EDIT: I read all the details on their website. There is no more 2yr contract. It's just if you decide to cancel, you have to pay the phone off just like with T-Mobile. After 12 months you can trade it in, or after 20 months the phone is yours and your bill drops by however much you were paying monthly for the phone.

Now if only AT&T's rates were cheaper. That's the NEXT thing they need to work on.

Wow I saw this coming when T-Mobile decided to go against the grain and so far AT&T and now Verizon are somewhat following suite lol. AWESOME! T-Mobile way to start a movement keep it up :)

Sprint is offering "Unlimited For Life" for $80 right now too. They won't be able to raise your rates or take away unlimited data or text and talk, from what they are saying.

BlackBerry Z10 | Verizon |

I think I will pass on this option. Buying a phone at full price just to give it back to get new one doesn't sound like a good deal to me. I like to keep my old phones for backups.

Posted via CB10

Yea I don't wanna give back the phone either if I'm put into a contract... plus ill lose my unlimited data thru vzw

Posted via CB10

exactly...but why I'm half down in comments about how they don't want to give a device back is beyond me...

I am with you on this one eaton18spd I get a better deal selling my old phone on craigslist. I pay for it is should be mine not a lease. If I am leasing the phone the price should be lower than outright buying it.

A phone after such a short time should keep value or be worth more to sell. Just another plan for a company to make more money

Posted via CB10

Excuse me but one should not have to pay for upgrades - that's just not right.

Posted via CB10

Undamaged, working device? Ha! And at unsubsidized prices with expensive contract service plan prices. Nice try AT&T. No wonder I left their sh*tty service.

Posted with my weapon of choice, Z10.

So you get a phone for a little over half price and pay for it on the never - never and get to upgrade for "free" (as in no additional outlay) after 12 months? Sounds like the good old days to me!
Two thumbs up!

Powered by Z10 on via DTAC 3G

Verizon has been having this plan. I noticed it way before Tmobile announced it. I saw it when I got my Z10 back in april but I dnt tbink its some theyve announced nationwide. You can speak to a rep and theyll tell you

Posted via CB10

So let me get this straight, I am basically paying full price for a phone, then giving it back to do the same thing over again?

So if I did this program, the cost of my q10, $579, is spread over 12 months= $50 a month. So total cost for one year, one device, is about $580ish.

With tmobile's jump: I get same q10 but put down 99 then pay 30 a month for 6 months, pick up an A10 for 99 down and pay another 30 for 6 months. So in total ($99x2) + (30x12) is about $560 for TWO phones in one year....

Seems pretty obvious who the better deal is here....

Posted via CB10

And you pay over $1k for the phone.

They do 6 and 12 month plans, but you dont get to keep the phone.

Actually, for att the q10 price is split over 20 months, so the monthly payment is $29 which makes the total to be $29 X 12 = $348 for one phone one year.

Oh and forgot to add tmobile's jump $10 monthly service includes insurance but on att it does not. So $348+ (10$ X 12) is $460 for the one phone one year deal but for about $100 more on tmobile you get 2 phones....

Posted via CB10

can't they bump your two comments up a few spots. I wasted a lot of time reading through people's explanations of car leasing before I got to the only thing I really continued to search for--the math.


Keep in mind that you are still paying the "SUBSIDIZED" plan price with AT&T in addition to the amounts you quoted. With T-Mobile, you also get a discount on the plan price. Typically the subsidy is about $20/month already included in the regular AT&T plans. Pretty sneaky on AT&T's part. It's almost as if I wrote the agreement.

I've been conditioned - anything att announces that has to do with contracts and fees always has a shady aspect to it. Giving back the phone I've been paying for the past year? No thanks.

Posted via CB10

AT&T Next is a complete rip-off.

With a subsidized phone, you get up to $450 of the phone's MSRP price subsidized, in return for paying about $20 more a month for phone service ($480 over 24 months). So, if you buy a phone that retails for $650, you have to pay $200 up-front and keep the service for 2 years, again, paying for service that is priced $20 higher per month than it would be if there were no subsidies. People who keep their phones longer than 2 years get screwed, because they continue to pay that extra $20/month on their service, even though they've paid back their subsidy. With me so far?

When T-Mobile went to no-contract plans, they did so by separating the cost of the phone from the cost of the monthly service.T-Mobile lowered their monthly service prices by $20/month for everyone. If you own a compatible device, you can bring it to T-Mo and use it, and never pay a cent of phone cost. If you want to buy a phone, T-Mo will let you finance some or all of the phone's cost (depending on the MSRP of the phone), and that financing is separate from your service, so if you cancel the service, you only owe the remaining balance on your phone. Once your phone is paid off (which you can do at any time), you get to enjoy the lowered monthly service rate.

But AT&T isn't doing that - they aren't lowering the price of their monthly service, so service rates still have an extra $20/month built-in, under the assumption that you'll have a phone subsidy to pay back. So, with "Next", you're being given the opportunity to pay the phone subsidy separately, WHILE you pay it AGAIN via your high monthly service rate. In effect, you are paying TWICE, and even if you pay off the phone, you still continue to pay that extra $20/month for your service, every month you keep the service.

I guess AT&T is hoping that no one understands math or spreadsheets, because this plan is a huge win for AT&T and a huge FU to customers who are being told they are benefiting. Hopefully word will get around quickly, and AT&T will have to go back to the drawing board and come back with a much better plan.

Agree! Total rip off! I have brought this up any chance I get with att, as I have my own unlocked phone. The last time I did, the woman actually laughed and told me I needed to ask my boss for a raise! I switched to tmobile when they changed to no contract, but the service in my area was too bad to keep it.

I was looking to see where AT&T said they were lowering the monthly service fee, which they're not as far as I can tell. How is this a good deal for the consumer? You get to pay even more for what benefit? A new phone every 12 months? I don't see where this makes sense.

Yes this times a million! I can't believe AT&T. Such greedy good for nothing billionaires running the show only looking for ways to further deepen their pockets and rip the rest of us off in the process!!!! Ugh I hate AT&T!!!

Oh man, so true. Plans like this have nothing to do with saving the customer money and everything to do with moving more devices by making it easier for customers to upgrade. The market segment that doesn't understand math or spreadsheets is exactly the segment AT&T is gunning for here.

What a rip off, wait a couple of months and get them on ebay cheaper, cause they will add all those taxes and fees on that to

Posted via CB10

I don't really care which carrier does what, I switched to T-mobile after being with att for 11 years simply because of service. T-mobile gives me the same bar as att at home and at work. They unlocked my phone for free, no questions asked. ATT wouldn't unlock any of my previous BlackBerry let alone my iphone. I know unlocking a phone isn't all that much of a hassle nor expensive. ATT simply didn't make my life easier. 11 years and they wouldn't unlock one phone for me when I needed it the most ( I needed to travel back to Asia because of an ill relative)
No matter how awesome this 'Next' thing is I will never go back.
Still, after all the ranting. I like what T-mobile offers. I don't mind giving the phone back and switch to a new one, I only need one. As much as I love the Q10 I don't see it lasting over a year. So paying 200 something dollars for a year of awesome time with my Q10 is well within my reasonable budget. As supposed to paying in full and keep the phone while drooling over another phone for the second half of the 2 year contract.

Yup. Can't say I'm that enamoured with T-Mobile coverage (I tend to lose service completely when I'm in Target for example) but AT&T's unlocking policy was a disgrace and because they would not unlock a 5 year old Nokia E71, they lost my business.

I never had a problem with unlocking any phone through AT&T. In fact, after I ported my mom's number to TMO for their prepaid plan, AT&T gave me the unlock code for her POS Samsung handset. Their customer service level runs in waves. Some years it's great, others it sucks. But I've been with AT&T and its predecessors for 20 years, except for two with TMO about 10 years ago. AT&T's coverage was much better than TMO but TMO's customer service was much better. I can't place a call with customer service, but better coverage I can use.

This news is silly. I want my phone to last as long as possible. I don't want to upgrade every 12 months. This should increase apple's earnings and all they have to do is put an S on the end. Let the wealth transfer begin.

Posted via CB10

If only T-Mobile had better coverage in my area I would consider switching. I dealt with their customer service once and it was horrendous. Hopefully it has improved. Now all AT&T has to do is lower the cost of their plans and I would consider sticking around.

Via CB10 with my Z10

After reading all the comments, I'm still conflicted on whether or not to switch to T-Mobile or stay with AT&T. I wish I could test out T-Mobile's service. T-Mobile seems like the way better deal overall.

Not sure where you're located but in my experience T-MOBILE service is subpar compared to AT&T. I had so many dropped calls and slow data on T-Mobile.

via CB10 on my AT&T Z10

Definitely depends on where you are. GF switched to T-Mobile because rates are easily the best and most flexible. But she has to drive around a lot for work in the US Northeast and the service was dramatically worse than her Verizon service. She is going to buy out her phone and switch it to AT&T.

Thanks you two. That sounds like me as well. I go to school in NY but I live in PA. LTE isn't even in my area on AT&T and yet somehow I have an LTE signal; not complaining though but I guess that just goes to show you how good their service is considering the nearest LTE city from me is a good 30 minute drive.

I'll probably stick with AT&T.

I contemplated switching to T-Mobile from AT&T. My service in my apt. with my 9800 was always iffy. I would be laying on my bed, not moving the phone, and watch the service indicators go from no service to 4 bars of 3G. I always heard that T-Mobile's was worst, but was going to try it out when they ended contracts. Then they started the subsides and I thought that is a great idea. It would be a great idea, if only T-Mobile's coverage and customer service would improve(my sister has them and I have had to deal with them on her behalf). I recently upgraded to a Q10 and the service has improved dramatically with AT&T. I understand why Next would appeal to people, I just hope they all read the fine print.

Saves the company money means less updates for older phones if the people jump on board with this

Posted via CB10

This is stupid. You pay for the phone regardless, but now you have to give them the old phone that you paid for? I keep my old devices, for nostalgia and if my new phone breaks then I'll have a backup. It's another secret rip off from AT&T.

Posted via CB10

Don't ever think that anything they come up with is for your benefit. These guys a lot smarter than any of us ever will. Trust me if it wasn't beneficial to AT&T they wouldn't offer it to us. Do your homework people.

Posted via CB10

I bet some people will end up with a monthly payment that rivals a new car. At&t isnt helping you folks. You are paying more for the same thing.

Even bigger rip-off than what T-Mobile rolled out recently. AT&T's making you pay unsubsidized prices on the phones, and not giving you cheaper service (which they should, considering one of their arguments for requiring data plans is "to recoup the cost of the phones.") You might as well set aside $30-$35 every month, and buy the latest and greatest 24 months from now at full retail AND not sign a new contract.

For everyone who has mentioned possibly trying T-Mobile, or has tried them in the past, you may want to try them again periodically. Both T-Mo and Sprint are undergoing HUGE changes with their networks, with T-Mo converting MetroPCS frequencies over, re-farming other frequencies, and just a few days ago deploying LTE in a huge number of markets. Sprint is quite a bit further behind in their process, but with a huge investment from SoftBank and the spectrum from Clearwire for LTE, Sprint will be a whole new game a year from now.

The point is that, for these two carriers in particular, what was true in the past is not necessarily going to be true today, or in the future. This added bandwidth, and the ability to re-farm the frequencies they use it for, is improving service in a big way in lots of areas, not to mention the additional towers coming online. Just something to keep in mind if you had a less-than-satisfying experience in the past.

Is the phone going to be unlocked? If it is not subsidized, then it should not be crippled by AT&T.

Posted via CB10

Yes, it will be locked to AT&T. AT&T will unlock the phone once it has been paid off (contract completed or phone balance paid in full). That's been their official policy for a while.

What if you don't wanna trade your phone in...I guess that's part of the guide lines...and I'll have to pay full price?..

Posted via CB10

Yeah right. Let's see the fine print. I wonder how undamaged your old phone would have to be? I'm also sure they will make you purchased questionable insurance.

- AT&T customer from 2005 to May 2013, now with T-Mobile.

Posted via CB10

Hey, wake up!

This is typical AT-AT Deathstar 100% B.S.

Think about it. You get to pay hardware payments + their regular service rates with the hardware subsidy still embedded in the service rate.

Do you get it?

With this wonderful new upgrade plan you get to pay for the hardware twice!

Yep along with that new little miscellaneous fee AT&T is raping you even more.

Hey we've been an ATT household ever since the True Friends good deal and even had an ATT global calling card for years.

See the thing is their market is saturated so they're hungry to increase revenue to keep the shareholders happy. Since new customer growth has slowed to a near stand still that means squeezing current subscribers.

And you guessed it sooper dooper good deals are coming our way. ;)

+10000000 I don't understand why ATT is able to screw people over and the people let it happen to them... TMobile or Sprint is the way to go

Looks like a way for ATT to just make more money. Say a 2 year price on the phone you want is $200 but now on the new plan you pay them $50 a month. After 4 months you are still paying $50 a month just so you can get a new phone in 8 more months. And you have to give them the phone back. Sounds like a play for those that have more money then they know what to do with

By doing this AT&T clients always get the new phone every year so there is no reason for them to leave the carrier to go to another carriers. Brilliant...

Sounds like an AT&T rip off to me. If you buy a $600 phone, that's $30 a month. In 7 months you pay $210 which is more than the $199 discount price. At 12 months you have paid $360, you get a new phone and get to keep making a monthly payment and AT&T gets to sell your old phone. The 2 year plan is still the most cost effective plan. I bought a Q10 for $199 and sold my 9900 for over $100. Had the Bold for 2.5 years so it cost me $3 per month.

This should work well for phones like Blackberry, since they are naturally cheaper than other smart phones. Or people who want the second latest and greatest.

IE. a Samsung Galaxy S4 in 8 months should only be 400-500, since by then they would have released the Note 3, GS5, GS5 Active, GS5 Space, and GS5 selfie edition.