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.
Starting June 9th, most of AT&T's existing finance schemes will go away. All we'll be left with is Next and Next Every Year. Next is a 30-month repayment with an upgrade at 24 months or 80% of phone value (it's Next 24 with a shorter name). Next Every Year is a 24 month repayment with an upgrade at 12 months or 50% of phone value. Next Every Year differs from the existing Next 12 (also upgrade after 12 months) in that the amount you have to pay off on the phone before upgrading is a little less.
The monthly cost can be lowered by making a down payment at the time of purchase or by trading in an old phone. Additionally, you'll have to trade-in your financed device if you take advantage of the early upgrade options listed above.