At this point, we've all heard of T-Mobile's JUMP! program, designed to let customers upgrade smartphones up to twice-yearly. And not to be outdone by T-Mo, AT&T announced its variant of the plan, dubbed Next. Of course, Verizon has its own thing going on, too – Edge. Up to this point, we've only seen leaks that allude to Edge's existence, but Big Red finally took the wraps off and made it official this morning.
Here's the basic gist: when you buy a phone on Edge, you won't need to sign a contract – it's a month-to-month deal. The full retail price of the phone will then be divided up over a 24 month period (you know, it's kind of like a two-year contract), so you'll effectively be financing your phone through Verizon, sans-interest, of course. If, however, you want to upgrade after six months, you can do so as long as 50% of the retail price is paid off. Naturally, you have to trade your phone in to do so, and the payments start all over.
Math time! Let's say you want a Galaxy S 4 on Big Red. The retail price is $650, so spread out over 24 months, that's roughly $27/mo. In order to get a new phone after six months, however, you'll need at least $325 of the GS4's price paid off – so that's more like $55-60 a month. Of course, if you just wait a full year to upgrade (and don't mind trading in your old phone), then you can stick with $27 monthly and still get a new phone after 12 months of payments.
But there's still the question of what happens if the device gets broken or damaged – will insurance cover it? Is insurance even offered on Edge? Are you just completely out of luck? Unfortunately, Verizon is being coy about how things like that will work, so be sure to probe the sales associate if you decide to make the jump (get it?) over to Edge, which will be available beginning August 25th.
Then again, you may just want to stay away from this plan in the first place.