Essential, Andy Rubin's new phone company, was able to raise $300 million in a recent financing round. Investors must have been impressed by Essential and its future projects, such as the PH-1 and Essential Home. The total valuation for the company determined during financing was set somewhere between $900 million and $1 billion. These are all pretty big numbers for a company that hasn't actually made anything yet, but the weight of Andy Rubin at the helm must have been a contributing factor. Read More
Google is pricing this year's new Pixel phones higher than the nexus devices, but it's also offering financing. That was previously only available on Project Fi, but that's not the full extent of the expansion. Financing is actually an option for any purchase on the Google Store of more than $150. Read More
Google's new Pixel phones aren't the developer-friendly devices that the Nexus phones were, and they aren't priced like them, either. The Pixel starts at a whopping $649 for the standard 5-inch 32GB version. A 128GB upgrade costs an extra hundred bucks ($749), and the Pixel XL is $120 more expensive at both capacities, $769 and $869, respectively. Google has added financing options to the Google Store, very much like US and international carriers, to help with the sticker shock. Customers can spread that price over 24 monthly payments. The cheapest option is $27.04 a month. Read More
AT&T's existing "Next" plans offer the option to upgrade after a certain amount of the device has been paid off, but there are four different versions and the naming can be confusing. For example, Next 24 is actually a 30-month pay-off schedule with an upgrade at 24 months. Well, AT&T has announced it's cutting the options down to just two, and it's adding a new Next Every Year plan for annual upgrades. Read More
Remember when Sprint said that it wouldn't be offering the tried and true two-year phone contracts anymore? Yeah, not so much. Fierce Wireless reports that the carrier is once again offering two-year service contracts, and the Sprint Wireless website bears this out. New phones are being sold with a significant discount, up to 100%, in exchange for customers signing a promise not to stop paying for 24 months. Everything old is new again.
If you'll recall, two-year contracts fell out of favor after T-Mobile made a big show of discontinuing them as part of its "uncarrier" initiative in 2013. Instead T-Mo started promoting a new payment program which allowed customers to buy phones in installments with interest-free financing, very much like European carriers have been offering for years. Read More
This weekend's poll is a pretty simple one, but one that I'm curious to see the results of given our worldwide audience: how did you pay for your current phone?
In the US, there are generally three ways (broadly speaking) you can buy a smartphone - on-contract from a wireless carrier (aka subsidized), outright (full price, no contract), or as part of an installment / financing plan. Carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile offer phone financing plans, offsetting the full cost of a device by spreading it over the course of one or two years. Some smartphone manufacturers like Motorola even offer no-interest credit financing if you buy a phone from them directly. Read More
Got your eye on a Moto X or Moto G, but just don't have the scratch right this minute? Motorola still wants your business, so it's offering to finance phone purchases interest-free for up to 18 months, provided you're credit-worthy. Sorry, we cannot vouch for you.
If you're willing to spend $549 or more, you can get no interest for 18 months with nothing down. That's more than the full cost of the regular Moto X, so you'd have to buy the Developer Edition (or the Droid Maxx) to take advantage of this with a single device. Or maybe you plan to buy a gaggle of Moto Gs? Read More