While the US carriers aren't ditching contracts entirely, there is a recent move to give consumers the option to upgrade often and not get tied down with long-term agreements. We saw T-Mobile announce JUMP, AT&T announce Next and now Verizon has confirmed Edge. Big Red is touting Edge as being an option for those who "want to stay on top of the latest technology."
Verizon has said the Edge "device payment plan" will be available for Share Everything users beginning on August 25th. The plan seems simple enough, you pick a new device and make payments that are spread out over a 24-month period. The first payment will be made at the time of purchase. Verizon has said this means the user will avoid service contracts, finance charges and upgrade fees. It also means you will be able to upgrade to a new device after 6 months.
The catch with the upgrade comes in with the amount you have paid towards your current device. The payments are split out over two full years, but you will only be able to upgrade after 50 percent of the retail price has been paid off. Or in other words, if you are planning to upgrade after 6 months -- you would need to make double payments for those first 6-months. Paying the minimum monthly would allow you to upgrade after 1 years worth of payments.
Looking at the competition and we find AT&T Next as offering the ability to upgrade once every 12 months. Next splits the price of the device over a 20 month period and users can upgrade after making 12 of those payments. The AT&T offering does require you to trade your current device toward the purchase of something new and will be available beginning on July 26th.
The T-Mobile JUMP program is set to kick off on July 14th. This option will require users to pay $10 extra per month, however that includes insurance protection against malfunction, damage, loss or theft. The JUMP program also allows users to upgrade their device two times per year.
SOURCE: Verizon Wireless