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T-Mobile US may be the nation's fourth-placed carrier, but it's shaking up the industry with initiatives such as allowing customers to upgrade their devices sooner -- and AT&T is following suit.
AT&T announced Tuesday a new initiative called AT&T Next, which allows consumers to buy a new smartphone or tablet each and every year with no down payment, no activation fee, no upgrade fee and no financing fees.
Clearly in response to T-Mobile's recent attacks against the traditional subsidy business model, AT&T Next allows customers to buy a new device and agree to pay monthly installments. After 12 payments, the device can be traded in for a new one, or the customer can own it outright after making 20 payments.
“With AT&T Next, customers can get the newest smartphone or tablet every year with no down payment," said Ralph de la Vega, president and chief executive officer of AT&T Mobility. "That’s hard to beat, and it’s an incredible value for customers who want the latest and greatest every year.”
While rival T-Mobile US offers a plan that allows up to two upgrades per year, its Jump! offer requires a $10 per month payment just for the privilege of doing so. By comparison, AT&T Next requires no additional payments, and drops the usual $36 activation and upgrade fees, which may be incentive enough for customers to stick with the carrier.
Beginning nationwide on July 26, AT&T Next will be available for both new AT&T customers as well as existing customers currently eligible for an upgrade.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter