Last week T-Mobile announced their new JUMP! program designed to let people upgrade their phones every six months rather than every two years. AT&T just announced their similar offering, called AT&T Next with a rumor that Verizon has a program coming too, called VZ Edge.
The new AT&T Next program looks to differ from the T-Mobile JUMP! offering by doing away with the initial down payment and other fees (activation, upgrade, and financing) and allowing upgrades once a year rather than every six months. Given that people pay a monthly fee for their subsidized phones anyway, the AT&T Next program looks almost like a no brainer where the T-Mobile one requires a bit more spreadsheet analysis to verify its value.
It's good to see AT&T offering a no-interest equipment installation plan option with no down payment, but the reason I go with T-Mobile is that they also have lower priced plans to go with their no-contract policy.
The timing of this is great for those looking to purchase the new Nokia Lumia 1020 as that device launches on the 26th and this plan starts that same day.
The rumored Verizon option may launch in August with payments for devices spread over 12 months rather than 20 or 24 months as seen on AT&T and T-Mobile. We haven't seen any rumor about Sprint offering such a device incentive plan yet.