The United States’ No. 2 wireless carrier has heard the cries from its customers to make things simpler, and it has obliged by reducing Next to just two options: Next and Next Every Year. AT&T Next will see customers spreading the cost of a new smartphone over the course of 30 equal monthly payments. However, after 24 payments have been made (covering roughly 80 percent of the retail cost), customers will be eligible to trade-in the device for a newer smartphone.
Next Every Year allows customers to pay off the full cost of a smartphone over a shorter span — 24 months. With this option, customers are eligible to upgrade after 12 monthly payments have been made or 50 percent of the retail cost of the device has been paid off in order to qualify for a trade-in/upgrade.
AT&T outlines its new plans using a brand new smartphone with a retail cost of $750 as an example. On Next, customer can put $0 down and pay $25/month or put down $225 and pay just $17.50/month. Opting for Next Every Year refigures the math to $31.25/month for $0 down or $21.88/month with $225 down.
Although the option to pay off a phone much quicker using Next 12 has been nixed with this plan simplification, AT&T notes that customers can still make extra payments in addition to their monthly device charges in order to get to the 80 percent (Next) or 50 percent (Next Every Year) upgrade eligibility window.