AT&T, Verizon Upgrade Plans Try to Block T-Mobile's 'Jump'

AT&T, Verizon Upgrade Plans Try to Block T-Mobile's 'Jump'No matter how you slice it up, the latest wave of smartphone plans offered by AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile give consumers more options — and they may save money by picking one over another.
At least the big carriers, No. 1 Verizon and No. 2 AT&T, are offering alternatives to two-year contracts and ways to upgrade to the latest device.
But the big two only made their move after T-Mobile, No. 4 after Sprint, came up with their “Jump” upgrade plan, which lets you snatch up the latest and greatest smartphone twice a year, as long as you pay an additional $10 per month.
Jump has the slight lead over AT&T’s Next and Verizon’s Edge upgrade plans because T-Mobile’s plans don’t lock you into a contract and its typical subsidy fee in the first place. And T-Mobile’s $10 a month fee covers replacement insurance, which would cost you almost that much even without Jump.
The problem with AT&T’s Next and Verizon’s Edge: the monthly built-in cost to cover a subsidized device on a 2-year contract — which is why you only pay about $200 for a $600 or so smartphone — doesn’t go away.
Even after you’ve paid off the cost of the latest Samsung or HTC smartphone or the latest iPhone from Apple, you still have to pay the hidden subsidy cost, which is estimated at about $20 a month.
The takeaway from these upgrade plans is to carefully consider whether you’re better off with a two-year plan on Verizon and AT&T.
And if your a long-time customer of the big two carriers, it may be time to take a look at T-Mobile’s growing flexibility for consumers. T-Mobile’s plans are not for everyone, but they warrant consideration.

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