I've written several times about T-Mobile's Un-carrier campaigns that have shaken up the US wireless carrier market and with today's announcement it does it again.
With current two-year contract plans on other carriers customers pay an additional monthly fee to use a subsidized phone indefinitely with no option for early upgrades. This means you could pay hundreds more for an old phone without ever even realizing it.
With T-Mobile's new JUMP! On Demand option you can pay a monthly phone payment with the option to upgrade to a new phone three times a year at no extra cost. This monthly phone payment actually goes towards paying off the phone so if you decide to stick with one phone you can keep it once it's paid off and your monthly carrier charge reverts just to service fees.
With the current optional JUMP! program you pay a $10 fee to participate that also serves as a device insurance plan. You then pay tax, and possibly some remaining balance on the phone, to upgrade to a new phone. This new On Demand plan offers less fees and more flexibility.
As readers know, I switch my phones around a lot and three times a year may be just what I have been looking for. It may be excessive for some people, but there is no requirement to upgrade that often either.
Here's what T-Mobile describes as the process in the press release:
Get a new smartphone for zero out of pocket with qualifying credit, and zero sales tax due today, followed by one low monthly payment that includes the cost of that new smartphone and, for free, the ultimate freedom to upgrade whenever you want. When you want a new smartphone, just swap your old phone for a new one. That's it.
You do have to trade in your existing phone and it has to pass T-Mobile's inspection. Otherwise, T-Mobile treats it as a regular full phone equipment install plan like they offer now.
The advertised promotion is for the 16GB iPhone 6 that costs you $15/month, paid off in 18 months if you don't upgrade to another phone in the interim. I contacted T-Mobile to find out some other monthly rates for other new smartphones and will update this post when I receive that information.
The new JUMP! On Demand program starts this Sunday, 28 June. I'm tempted to pick up a Samsung Galaxy S6 through the program with the possibility of moving to a new iPhone when Apple announces them in September or October. The program seems almost too good to be true so I am first diving into the details and reading the fine print before testing it out.