Carriers seem to be scrambling to let their subscribers switch to a new device or a new plan as soon as possible in an effort to keep them from considering the competition. The latest to do so is AT&T who is now offering existing subscribers the option to upgrade to a new device after just 6 months.
Under AT&T Next, customers can upgrade to their dream smartphone for no down payment. With the new arrangement, existing customers on a two-year contract can apply once they are just 6 months into their contract. AT&T is also recommending that switchers upgrade to their Mobile Share Value for the best bang for buck monthly plan, which already includes unlimited voice and text.
AT&T is not the only one making similar moves. Verizon has similarly reduced the waiting period for their Verizon Edge upgrades from 6 months to 30 days. And even earlier at CES 2014, T-Mobile revealed its cunning scheme to attract customers from other carriers to switch to their network by paying for early termination fees. This might have actually prompted other carriers to make such offers, though, of course, they won't admit to it.
AT&T's revised Next program is available for any customer who already has a two-year contract as of January 18 this year. Those signing up after January 19 will have to wait more than 6 months but can upgrade to a new device as early as 20 months into the contract.