While it’s not shocking that T-Mobile has started pressuring rival wireless carriers to offer a wider variety of options for upgrading devices, it is surprising how quickly they’ve reacted. AT&T announced on Tuesday that it was launching a new initiative called AT&T Next that gives customers the option to upgrade their devices once every 12 months “with no down payment, no activation fee, no upgrade fee and no financing fees.” Essentially, AT&T customers can pick up a device with no down payment and then make monthly payments on it for the next 12 months, at which point they’ll be able to get a new device, again with no down payments. If they want to keep their device after 12 months, they’ll be able to keep it and finish paying it off after 20 months. The monthly payments range from $15 a month to $50 a month, depending on the device. AT&T’s full press release follows below.
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.