By all accounts the Next, JUMP and Edge plan options that provide customers with the opportunity to pay for their devices in monthly installments, with the option to trade in and upgrade after a certain duration, have been quite popular.
Despite some misgivings regarding whether the math works in your favor or not, the plans are certainly less costly at the outset for the consumer and don’t involve the hassle of selling your devices, which is certainly worth something.
Today AT&T is adding yet another Next plan option to the mix. AT&T Next 24 allows customers to pay off their device on a 30-month installment plan, with the option to trade in and upgrade their device under qualifying offers (assuming it’s in “good condition”) after 24 payments. This is the longest of the Next plan options, joining the existing Next 12 and Next 18 plans that saw customers paying out over 20-month and 24-month installment plans, respectively.
If Next is paired with a Mobile Share Value plan, customers also receive a discount on their monthly access charge for that line: $25 a month for plans 10GB or higher and $15 a month for plans below 10GB.
AT&T, like Verizon, is also currently offering a $150 bill credit to new incoming customers that port their number to an AT&T Next plan.
Personally I have avoided these plans, but my upgrade cycle is less than normal, so I don’t consider myself to be a great test case for them. A quick check on what a 30-month timeline looks like in mobile; if you had bought the Samsung Galaxy S III on launch day with Next 24 you would still have 2 payments left on that device.
I realize they haven’t been around that long yet, but have any of you opted to go with a Next, JUMP or Edge plan and what has your experience been like with them so far?