T-Mobile is America’s smallest “large” operator. There are four, the other three being AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon. Earlier this month, T-Mobile announced a new plan called “Jump” that’s super easy to understand: Pay $10/month extra on your phone bill and you can change your phone every six months, provided that you return your phone.
AT&T is launching “Next” on the 26th, and while it’s slightly different, it’s the same concept. You “buy” a device, the real price gets split into 20 monthly payments, and after 12 monthly payments you can trade in your phone for a new one. Verizon is going to launch a similar program called Edge during the end of August, allegedly, and it’s pretty much a clone of AT&T’s Next program.
All of these are great because for three reasons.
One, you’re no longer stuck with the same phone for two years. On T-Mobile you can switch after six months, and on the other two it’s after twelve months. Still, far better than two years. The UK has had one year contracts for years, so it’s nice to see that appearing stateside.
Two, you don’t have to deal with the crazy insane world of reselling your smartphone on the private market. Online auctions have tons of fees associated with them, you need a PayPal account, you need to go to the post office, the list just goes on and on. There’s also Craigslist, but how keen are you on meeting a stranger in a parking lot?
Three, instead of shoving your old phone in a drawer and forgetting about it, all three of these operators are likely going to refurbish these devices and resell them at a significant discount. Can’t afford a new Galaxy S4? Buy the used one and save money.
It used to be that I’d point at America from my comfy chair in Europe and laugh at how nuts the wireless world is over there, but now I’m finding it less and less problematic. About the only thing left to fix is operator bloatware. Why are these companies installing so much software on their devices?