Verizon officially launched its new Device Payment Plan today, an option more and more of its customers seem to be clamoring for, especially now that T-Mobile has allegedly "killed" its own smartphone contracts. In an ideal world, Verizon would respond in kind with interest-free, 2-year financing of any smartphone you want, contract-free on your existing plan, subject to credit approval. The reality is a little more complex, something I think most people kind of expected.

Here are the key takeaways for Verizon's new plan:

  • You can finance any smartphone or tablet over $349.99 MSRP, up to $1000 total credit available for each customer (meaning account, not line), subject to credit approval.
  • You can only finance up to two devices at any time, subject to credit approval and the $1000 combined limit.
  • The financing period is 12 months, but you can pay off your balance early at any time.
  • And no, there is no special service plan rate / discount for those who finance a phone.
  • There is a $2 finance charge per month ($24 total if you go the full 12 months). It sounds like this is per device, as well.
  • Your contract will not be extended by using the plan (the big benefit).
  • Unknown: You may need a Share Everything plan to be eligible, based on the language on Verizon's site. We're waiting on confirmation of this with Verizon. Update: You do not need a Share Everything plan to enroll in a Device Payment plan.
  • Unknown: You may need to currently be in a contract (not going month-to-month) to be eligible. We're waiting on confirmation of this with Verizon as well.

So, yes, you can finance a smartphone on Verizon now, and upgrade your device early while on a contract. There are still a few unknowns to sort out here, though, such as whether you're truly able to go "contract-free" on Big Red now, and whether you'll have to give up your sweet, sweet unlimited data. We'll update this post when we learn more about those potential caveats specifically.

Verizon via Droid-life