AT&T may have recently increased the upgrade eligibility from 20 months to 24 months, however they are now offering customers the option to upgrade every 12 months. This latest offer is arriving as AT&T Next and it looks like it has been designed to compete against what T-Mobile has going with JUMP. Not to mention, what Verizon is expected to offer with VZ Edge.
That being said, AT&T Next will be available beginning on July 26th and it is bringing the promise of being able to get a new smartphone or tablet every 12 months. And perhaps more important here, that option is being offered with no downpayment, no activation feee, no upgrade fee and no financing fee. Basically, you pick a smartphone or tablet and begin making payments.
The price of the device is broken down into 20 monthly payments and users will be able to upgrade after making 12 of those monthly payments. After those 12 payments are made it is simply a matter of picking a new device, setting up the new payments and trading in your current device. Alternatively, you can choose to keep that device and have it paid off after 20 months.
Two points worth mentioning, you will be required to pay the sales tax at the time of purchase, but there isn't any penalty should you pay-off the device ahead of schedule. AT&T has said that device installments will range from as low as $15 and up to $50 per month. Of course, the price will be set by the device you are buying.
An example provided was for the Samsung Galaxy S 4. In this case users would have a monthly installment of $32. As a reminder, this would be in addition to your monthly service. Then as mentioned, after making 12 payments you could upgrade to something new. Sounds like a great way to go from the Galaxy S 4 to maybe say, the Galaxy S 5.