On Thursday, Verizon Wireless confirmed the new Edge device upgrade plan that was leaked a few days ago. The official statement fills in the gaps of our knowledge of the plan, and Verizon made sure it included a comparative table to show Edge vs. Next (AT&T) and JUMP (T-Mobile).
Here are the details:
- Covers both basic and smartphones
- To use the Edge program, customer must opt to pay full price for a device, split in 24 payments.
- Can upgrade after six months, but customer must have paid at least 50 percent of the phone’s cost.
- The rest of a device’s cost is waived.
- Customer must trade in old phone
- No program fee
- No finance charge
In its table (above), Verizon lists Competitor A (T-Mobile USA, program began on 7/14) and Competitor B (AT&T, program beings 7/26). As seems normal for the carrier lately, it will be late to the game. Remember how long it launched the Galaxy S4 after the other Big Four carriers; in this case it will trail T-Mobile and AT&T by about a month or more.
Ken Dixon, Verizon Wireless’ vice president and chief marketing officer said:
This is a flexible new equipment payment plan for customers who really want to purchase a new phone annually. This an affordable way for customers to quickly upgrade to the latest technology without a long-term contract.
In terms of similarities and differences, like T-Mobile Jump, Verizon lets you upgrade every six months, whereas AT&T Next only allows one upgrade per year. Like Next, Edge has no program fee (Jump has a $10 fee but that includes insurance).
All plans require a customer to trade in their old phone. Since you have to pay 50 percent of the cost of the phone, but have to trade in your old phone, Edge — like Next — is close to be a wash compared to paying full price and trading in the phone to a third-party like Gazelle. Still, with that sort of option, the customer must weigh the vagaries of the aftermarket pricing for a used device, and many will find these plans attractive for their simplicity.
Notably, AT&T’s is the only program that covers tablets, too. Verizon’s is the only one that covers basic phones.
As with Next, when comparing Edge vs. T-Mobile’s JUMP, JUMP comes out ahead. The reason is the lower cost of T-Mobile’s service plans. Note: An estimate by Laptop Magazine said that, in terms of cost, T-Mobile was lowest, then Verizon, then AT&T.
Of course, Verizon (and AT&T) would say that you get what you pay for. While T-Mobile’s plans are cheaper, the nation’s fourth largest wireless carrier’s coverage is less extensive, as well. T-Mobile is upgrading its network, though.
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