Following up the recent rumors, Verizon Wireless confirmed the VZ Edge upgrade program yesterday. That news had many comparing the Edge program to the other recent announcements from AT&T and T-Mobile. Those carriers announced similar programs called Next and Jump. The problem with the Edge program though, many have said it will simply be a way for those looking to upgrade frequently to spend more money.
With that in mind, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo recently spoke a bit about the Edge upgrade program during the company’s earnings call. To begin with, Shammo has said they do not expect a large amount of subscribers to pick up on this plan. He went on to speak about how he believes most customers will still buy their phone on-contract and at a discount — ultimately waiting two years between upgrades.
Those who missed the Verizon Edge news may not realize, but when you buy a handset using this plan you are financing the device over a two-year period and grabbing a service plan without contract. The catch is the price of the device. Because you don’t have the agreement you will not get the subsidy. Simply put, that means instead of paying roughly $200 for a smartphone you could be paying upwards of $600.
Basically, this equates to having to pay the regular monthly service rates in addition to the price of the phone each month. The key here, Shammo has made it clear that those going the Edge route will not be seeing any discounts on the service pricing. To be specific, Shammo said they “will not touch our service pricing.”
In addition to the Edge program getting some criticism from users, Verizon is also receiving some attention from the analysts. Craig Moffett, an analyst at Moffett Research has said “you’d have to be out of your mind,” to accept this new offer.” He also went on to mention he believes the Edge program is “unlikely to have any impact in the market whatsoever.”