After T-Mobile’s announced the new plan for customers to more easily keep up with the Joneses and their new phones, AT&T and Verizon announced similar plans as well.
AT&T was the first to announce their plan called NEXT where customers could get a new phone every year if they agree to pay full price for their device over the course of 20 months. At 12 months customers may opt to purchase a new device. This sounds great except you basically end up paying the same for your wireless/data plan AND pay full price for your device. Here’s an article that more eloquently explains everything.
And now Verizon has a similar plan called EDGE where you’re eligible for an upgrade every 6 months as long as you’ve paid 50% of the full price for your device. Similar to AT&T, you end up paying for an unsubsidized phone AND the same wireless/data plan. Here’s another article explaining things in more detail.
I really wish T-Mobile had better coverage so I could actually use my phone if I switched to them as my provider. I also wish people would do the math on these “great deals” and decide what is really best for them in the long run. I also wish there was some regulation of cell phone companies and cable TV/internet companies so us consumers weren’t constantly screwed with the option of pay the money or go without.
CNET’s Ask Maggie column has a great breakdown showing the total cost of ownership. The consumer pays more no matter what with T-Mobile screwing you the least. Your best bet is to hold onto that phone for two years.