Your Guide To Understanding AT&T Next Early Upgrade Plans
Lots of wireless carriers are offering early upgrade plans nowadays. Basically, early upgrade plans offer a means for mobile users to upgrade to a newer smartphone model earlier than the usual two year time period set in most smartphone plans. Apart from Sprint, most carriers have their own set of early upgrade plans.
AT&T, the second biggest wireless carrier in the United States, is no exception. The carrier first introduced its AT&T Next early upgrade program back in July of 2013. In its program, AT&T offers its subscribers early upgrade options after 12 months (Next 12), 18 months (Next 18), and 24 months (Next 24).
And just quite recently -- last month to be exact -- the carrier also introduced a brand new option in the form of the AT&T Next 12 With Down Payment plan. As its name implies, this plan offers early upgrade options with 12 months but will require from subscribers a 30 percent down payment, which the other Next plans do not require.
Like most early upgrade plans offered by other carriers, AT&T's involves monthly fees and repayment periods. The monthly fees generally depend on which Next plan the subscribers has chosen. For the Next 12 plan, monthly fee is 5 percent of the handset's purchase price; for the Next 18 plan, it is 4.15 percent; and for the Next 24 plan, the monthly fee is 3.3 percent.
As for the repayment periods, they similarly vary depending on how soon the subscribers choose to exercise their upgrade options. For Next 12, it is 20 months; Next 18 is 24 months; and Next 24 is 30 months.
To illustrate, say you are getting a Samsung Galaxy S6 32 gigabyte handset. This device costs $685 upfront (with no contract), with a Next plan, you only have to pay a $0 down payment, then pay the accorded monthly fee over the course of a specific repayment period depending on which Next plan. For example, if you go for Next 12, you will pay $34.25 monthly (which is 5 percent of $685) over 20 months, and then get to upgrade early to a new device after 12 months.
With the AT&T Next 12 With Down Payment, it is an entirely different setup. You will have to pay a 30 percent down payment, which is $206 for the $685 Galaxy S6 32 gigabyte handset. Then you will pay $17.11 every month over the course of 28 months, with an option to upgrade early after 12 months.
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