Earlier today, AT&T unveiled their new early upgrade plan called Next, but T-Mobile CES John Legere called it “smoke and mirrors” and a “poor copycat.” AT&T’s new Next plan allows customers to pay for devices in 20 monthly installments and also allows an upgrade each year. The only problem is that monthly payments aren’t discounted for those that opt for this route. “They’re charging you twice on the same phone and calling that a good deal,” said T-Mobile executive Andrew Sherrard.
The problem has always been that those that want to pay the full price (off contract) for a phone gets penalized by paying the same monthly price as those that pay the subsidized on contract price. AT&T does nothing to rectify this situation, but T-Mobile does. Now if you are willing to pay the entire upfront cost, AT&T does offer the GoPhone prepaid service, which gives you unlimited calls and texts as well as 2GB of data for $60 per month. That is a pretty good deal, but again, you will have to pay the entire purchase price of the phone. Why AT&T didn’t add the 20 month installment plan to this GoPhone monthly rate, I will never know.
Verizon will announce their Edge plan soon as well, but how will that stack up?
Almost two months ago, Verizon extended their upgrade cycles for wireless customers from 20 months to 24 months. This basically meant customers had to wait a full two years to get a new device at subsidized pricing instead of the usual 20 months. Unfortunately for AT&T customers, AT&T is following suit and pushing their upgrade cycles back a full four months.
The only bright side here is that AT&T’s new upgrade rules don’t take effect until next March, where Verizon will start enforcing it next January. Either way, it’s not a particularly welcome change.
source: Phone Arena
Earlier today, HTC officially announced their newest flagship phone, the HTC One. The smartphone features a quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, 2 GB of RAM, Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and a new Sense 5 UI. Now, HTC is offering a $100 cash back incentive for those looking to upgrade their smartphones to the One. If the trade in value of your old smartphone is greater, they will send you the money for the phone. You must head over to HTC’s website and enter an e-mail address to pre-register for the incentive, then purchase a HTC One when it becomes available. After that, HTC is asking that you send in your old smartphone that you’ll be trading in and proof that you’ve purchased the HTC One. It’s that simple. If you’re in the market to upgrade to HTC’s tantalizing new HTC One, head on over to the source and register for your incentive now.
In the midst of Motorola announcing the newest additions to the DROID RAZR family yesterday, it also announced a few important pieces of information for owners of its devices released in 2011. First thing’s first— most owners of the devices launched in 2011 will get the coveted Jelly Bean update, which follows MOTO’s previous pledge to keep its existing devices as up to date as possible. This means that many of you owners will have a slight glimmer of hope and a reason to possibly keep those Atrix 4G, Atrix 2, DROID Bionic and DROID RAZR smartphones. Again, we’re seeing a very heavy influence from Google, as MOTO’s announcement is nearly identical to what Google does for its Nexus line of smartphones.
Of course not every 2011 phone will cooperate with Jelly Bean, so MOTO has you covered as well. If it decides that your 2011 device will perform at an unacceptable level with newer software and decides not to upgrade to Jelly Bean, MOTO will offer a $100 trade-in credit for you to use towards a new device. Before you ask— the credit is only good towards new Motorola devices, so you can’t pull a fast one and try to score that HTC or Samsung phone you’ve been itching for. Such is life we suppose.
Finally MOTO is taking a page out of Samsung’s book and will begin to release developer editions of its devices, in case you have a carrier that isn’t too keen on customers fiddling with its devices. Additional details of this program will be shared as Motorola begins launching the special-edition devices.
Good news for Sprint customers in the Baltimore and Kansas City areas, as Sprint announced this morning their intent to bring 4G LTE services and enhanced 3G service to users in these cities. This comes on the heels of Sprint’s announcement that Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio will also be getting the same treatment, with a targeted date around mid-2012. These new services and enhancements will enable faster speeds for data applications, better signal strength, expanded coverage and better in-building signal. Full press release after the break.
The HTC Aria is finally getting Android 2.2 and all its goodness, or at least it is in Southeast Asia. Sorry AT&T users of the Aria, they still haven’t determined when or whether they will push out an AT&T Froyo upgrade to ease the suffering. The Froyo upgrade as we know brings many nice features and improvements, one of which is overall battery life and performance, along with HTC Sense as well.
Too bad AT&T hasn’t said anything about an upgrade to their faithful Aria customers, it sure would be nice to know if they are working on it at least. In any regard, at least you know somebody has gotten the OTA update, which is a glimmer of hope for those in the US.