Buying a smartphone used to be a relatively straightforward experience. You’d simply walk into your local carrier and fork over some cash for a new device and, more often than not, a new 2-year contract.

But over time, carriers got tired of subsidizing pricey smartphones, a sentiment which quickly ushered in the era of installment pricing. Today, buying a new smartphone or upgrading to a new device can be an exercise in frustration thanks to a dizzying matrix of installment plan pricing options.

To help alleviate the frustration, AT&T today announced a welcome change to its smartphone purchasing plan that promises to make the overall upgrade experience much simpler.

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Beginning on June 9, AT&T will pare down the number of its installment payment options from four down to two. The new payment options for both existing and new customers now looks like this:

  • AT&T Next Every Year: Upgrade to a new device every year, with a 24-month financing program term.
  • AT&T Next: Upgrade every 2 years, with a 30-month financing program term.

In short, users intent on always having the latest and greatest smartphones can do so simply by paying a little bit more every month. Assuming a smartphone with a base price of $700, the AT&T Next Every Year plan will cost users about $6 more a month.

Additionally, customers also have the option to either make a down payment or trade-in their current device and apply that value towards a new device.

AT&T’s simplified installment plan matrix now looks like this.

A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.