Less than a week after T-Mobile announced its new upgrade-at-will Jump plan, AT&T has announced that its new Next scheme will offer yearly upgrades as part of a new monthly instalment plan.
Launching on July 26th, the Next plan will see the retail price of your phone get split up into twenty separate monthly payments, each added to your standard bill. You can pay off the phone faster if you want—say, if you feel particularly flush one month—or just stick out the 20 months. As an example, a Galaxy S4 would add $32 a month to your usual contract.
While that doesn't sound amazing, this bit might: AT&T will let you trade in your phone after just one year of use and swap it for a newer model. That won't cost any extra, but it will reset the monthly repayment plan, like you were starting back on the first month of your contract. That's pretty sweet.
According to AT&T, Next won't affect how data contracts run—even grandfathered unlimited data plans will still be valid, if Engadget is to be believed. The plan isn't limited to certain handsets, either, so, yes, you can get an iPhone this way. With T-Mobile and AT&T heading this way, now it's time for Verizon to follow suit. [Engadget]