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Buy every iPhone: AT&T Next lets customers upgrade annually

Since the very first iPhone was announced, Apple has launched a new and improved version of the device each and every year. The original iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and most recently the iPhone 5. But when you buy a phone with a 2-year agreement, you’re put in an awkward situation when a new iPhone comes out every single year.

Not anymore… at least for AT&T customers: the company has just announced a new service option called AT&T Next that will allow customers to pay a monthly installment for the option to upgrade their device every 12 months. The plan goes live on July 26th.

AT&T Next Early Upgrade Program

AT&T Next Early Upgrade Program

Say you currently have the iPhone 5. You may be required to pay $35/month over 20 months to pay for the cost of the device under AT&T Next. But, after 12 months of paying $35 per month, you’ll be given the option to trade your iPhone 5 into AT&T and get a brand new iPhone 6 under similar conditions.

This is, of course, assuming the iPhone 6 is  areal device that gets announced.

If you didn’t want to leverage this upgrade option, you’d then continue to pay the $35/month for the 20 month duration. You could – should you so choose – pay off your 12 month or 20 month duration ahead of time. Doing so may entitle you to more quickly take advantage of your annual upgrade. Could you then use multiple “annual upgrades” over a 12 month period? Probably… but it would make AT&T Next much less of a deal.

The arrival of AT&T Next comes in response to the recent announcement of T-Mobile Jump and rumors of VZ Edge, similar early upgrade programs from competitors T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. The sudden arrival of these plans on all 3 carriers shows its something they feel consumers definitely want and I’m sure many of our readers will be incredibly happy.

This is especially exciting for iPhone lovers because of the traditional 1-year iPhone announcement cycle. A large percentage of Apple fans buy each and every iPhone that comes out, often the very day it launches. This could make financially planning for that habit much less of a burden.

One potential problem: AT&T’s press release indicates that AT&T Next is only available in conjunction with “qualifying devices”: could the iPhone be on the exclusion list? Let’s hope not.

UPDATE: AT&T has confirmed that iPhones WILL be available under the AT&T Next program.

What do you think of AT&T Next? Will you use it to pay for the iPhone 6?

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  • Edgar Cervantes

    So everyone is responding now, huh?