Apple adds AT&T Next as online payment option for iPhone buyers

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 2014
Apple on Thursday quietly added a new payment option to its online storefront, giving AT&T subscribers who are in the market for a new iPhone the ability to make their purchase using installments through the carrier's AT&T Next program.




The initiative will allow consumers to spread the unsubsidized cost of the iPhone out over either 12 or 18 months, without the necessity of signing a fixed service contract. They are then eligible to upgrade to a new device at the end of the term.

Consumers can cancel their subscription at any time, but they will be on the hook for the balance of the handset's cost.

Though there is no required down payment, Apple says they will collect sales tax at the time of purchase. Those living in states that do not levy a sales tax could find themselves going through the purchase process without paying anything.

AT&T announced Next last July, on the heels of T-Mobile's introduction of the similar Jump program.

"With AT&T Next, customers can get the newest smartphone or tablet every year with no down payment," AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega said at the time. "That's hard to beat, and it's an incredible value for customers who want the latest and greatest every year."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    Is there a cost of financing the installment payment?

    (Just checked, and it's 0% APR -- i.e., the monthly payment is simply the upfront cost of the unlocked phone divided by 12 or 18, as the case may be. That's impressive).
  • Reply 2 of 17
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,740member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    The initiative will allow consumers to spread the unsubsidized cost of the iPhone out over either 12 or 18 months, without the necessity of signing a fixed service contract. They are then eligible to upgrade to a new device at the end of the term.

     

    12 or 18 payments.  For a locked GSM phone.  With questionable coverage.  For the privilege of buying an "unsubsidized" phone on payments, you are allowing AT&T to lock it to their network...

  • Reply 3 of 17
    rtdunhamrtdunham Posts: 428member
    Last "Thursday" or today (Wednesday)?
  • Reply 4 of 17
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    john.b wrote: »
    12 or 18 payments.  For a locked GSM phone.  With questionable coverage.  For the privilege of buying an "unsubsidized" phone on payments, you are allowing AT&T to lock it to their network...

    Who's 'you'?
  • Reply 5 of 17

    1. Did you not expect AT&T to lock the phone if they are financing it?  If you gave someone a loan, would you not use collateral to secure the loan?  It is my understanding if you pay off the remainder of the loan, you can have it unlocked, should you want to do that early.

     

    2. Questionable coverage is debatable.  T-mobile & Sprint are terrible in the Colorado front range.  Verizon and AT&T are similar but vary depending on location.

     

    3. Here are how these payment plans work:

     

    a. pay the sales tax up-front

    b. pick the 12 or 18 month upgrade plan

    c.  For the 12 month plan, you have a 0% loan spread equally over 20 payments.  After 20 payments you own the phone and the payments stop.  Or after 12 months, you can turn in the phone (back to AT&T) and start over again with a new payment plan (i.e. early upgrade, but they get the phone back).

    d.  For the 18 month plan, you have a 0% loan spread equally over 24 payments.  After 24 payments you own the phone and the payments stop.  Or after 18 months, you can turn in the phone (back to AT&T) and start over again with a new payment plan (i.e. early upgrade, but they get the phone back).

     

    ?As usual, if you do the math, one is almost always better off selling the phone and purchasing another rather than participating in a trade-in program.

  • Reply 6 of 17
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

    Who's 'you'?



    You know very well.

  • Reply 7 of 17
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member

    You know very well.

    My guess is Apple, but I didn't want to assume.
  • Reply 8 of 17
    why bash AT&T?

    I have at&t. I have their next program - 5 phones 10 gb data unlimited voice and text for 160 month. I'm saving 35 per phone since I switched when it became available.
    So now to get a new phone, they will let me pay $30 per month (or whatever $650 or price of phone) is over 12 or 18 months interest free - I think that's a good alternative to subsidized phones when I am paying $70 per month each.

    Plus I get great coverage/service from at&t. I don't need an unlocked phone.

    IT WORKS FOR ME!!!!!!
  • Reply 9 of 17
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

    My guess is Apple, but I didn't want to assume.



    THE CUSTOMER BUYING THE PHONE.

  • Reply 10 of 17
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member

    THE CUSTOMER BUYING THE PHONE.

    How does the customer allow anything? If you don't like it then there's always the option of not buying into it.
  • Reply 11 of 17
    f1turbof1turbo Posts: 256member

    Please forgive my ignorance on the locked vs. unlocked.  I've been on a 2 year rotation since the iPhone 3 with AT&T and recently changed to their family plan/shared data or whatever they call it.

    - I believe when you upgrade your phone on the Next plan, you have to pay off the phone AND give them your phone (if that phone was also purchased with the Next plan).  Is that correct?  

    - What's the advantage of the Next plan, other than the 0% loan (although if I do have to give them my phone and pay it off, hardly seems worth it)

    - If I just buy an unlocked phone to use with AT&T, what other fees will I incur?  If I use it on AT&T, does AT&T lock the phone?

    - Is it hardware, firmware, or software that locks/unlocks the phone?  

     

    I'll be checking with AT&T on all these questions before the 6 comes out, but frankly I trust you guys more than asking AT&T directly.

     

    Thanks!

  • Reply 12 of 17
    hhphhp Posts: 5member

    If you want to own the device at the end of 12/18 month, IMHO you can get unlocked phone from Apple directly via minimum 12 month financing option. Then use BYOD family plan from ATT.  That way you not indirectly locked with ATT.

     

    Jus' my 2 cents..

  • Reply 13 of 17

    F1Turbo, the way it works is you pick either the 12 or 18 month option.  if you go with 12 you have the total cost of the phone broken out over 20 months but you can get a new phone after 12 months but you would turn in your phone (since you haven't completely paid for it yet) or you could pay it off and keep it.  Or you can pick the 18 plan and your total phone cost would be split out over 24 months and you could upgrade after 18 months (again having to turn in the phone if you haven't paid it off yet or pay it off and keep).  I hope this helps.

  • Reply 14 of 17
    netmagenetmage Posts: 314member
    The Next plan allows both an early upgrade option at 12 or 18 months requiring a phone trade-in or completing an outright purchase at 20 or 24 months. Basically, if you take early upgrade your old phone trade-in pays off what you owed (the remaining 8 or 6 payments).

    There are no extra fees if you BYOD - you pay the same plans as a Next customer. An unlocked at purchase phone can't be locked - it is your phone.

    The phone is unlocked via an Apple or carrier server change that tells the phone to unlock. Once unlocked, I don't believe it can be locked and with the new US law, the carriers must unlock once the phone is paid off. (On Next, at 20 or 24 months.)

    Actually, right now, Next is a lot cheaper because AT&T gives you a $25/month discount and charges you $0 up front versus paying the extra $25/month and $199 up front, so even if you don't plan to upgrade more often, a Next plan makes sense, as long as you have a 10GB or more plan. At $15 / month savings on a lesser plan, you save about $90 on a two year contract versus Next.
  • Reply 15 of 17
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by F1Turbo View Post

     

    Please forgive my ignorance on the locked vs. unlocked.  I've been on a 2 year rotation since the iPhone 3 with AT&T and recently changed to their family plan/shared data or whatever they call it.

    - I believe when you upgrade your phone on the Next plan, you have to pay off the phone AND give them your phone (if that phone was also purchased with the Next plan).  Is that correct?  

    - What's the advantage of the Next plan, other than the 0% loan (although if I do have to give them my phone and pay it off, hardly seems worth it)

    - If I just buy an unlocked phone to use with AT&T, what other fees will I incur?  If I use it on AT&T, does AT&T lock the phone?

    - Is it hardware, firmware, or software that locks/unlocks the phone?  

     

    I'll be checking with AT&T on all these questions before the 6 comes out, but frankly I trust you guys more than asking AT&T directly.

     

    Thanks!


    If you have the Next plan and you've paid your phone off, it's yours to do with as you like.  If you haven't paid it off, and you want to upgrade, you have to trade in the phone and start a new payment plan.

     

    The Next plan lets you own your phone more quickly than a subsidized plan and lets you have lower payments once it's paid off.  Or you can change phones more frequently than on a subsidized plan.  Or you can switch carriers at any time once the phone is paid for with no ETF

     

    If you bring an unlocked phone to AT&T there are no extra fees, you just have to pay your normal talk/text/data charges according to your plan.  They won't lock your phone.  This can be advantageous if you travel abroad, you'll be able to purchase a prepaid SIM in the country you're visiting for much less than what you'd pay for international roaming.

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by HHP View Post

     

    If you want to own the device at the end of 12/18 month, IMHO you can get unlocked phone from Apple directly via minimum 12 month financing option. Then use BYOD family plan from ATT.  That way you not indirectly locked with ATT.

     

    Jus' my 2 cents..


     

    Only Apple is going to be charging you a finance charge, and it's probably more difficult to get credit from them instead of the carriers.

  • Reply 16 of 17
    netmagenetmage Posts: 314member
    In the US since GSM is AT&T or T-Mobile, an unlocked phone from Apple is still pretty much locked down. Unless you only use it in LTE covered areas.
  • Reply 17 of 17
    f1turbof1turbo Posts: 256member

    Thanks for the help HHP, NetMage, and hardcle.  That clears things up a lot.

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