AT&T is making its phone financing plans a little easier to understand, reducing the number of plans from four to two. The two new plans are called Next and Next Every Year, and these will replace the Next 12, Next 18, Next 18, and Next with Down Payment plans, starting on June 8.
AT&T has been criticized for its confusing plans — the Next 24 plan, for example, actually lasts 30 months. The new plans eliminate the ability of customers to pay in fewer installments, but they should help clear up some confusion.
The way that the two plans work is pretty simple — the Next plan is basically a renamed version of the old Next 24 plan, allowing customers to pay for their device over 30 months in equal payments. On Next you’ll also be able to get a new phone after 24 months. The Next Every Year plan is close to the Next 18 option, however it’s a 24-month plan and allows customers to upgrade to a new phone sooner than the Next 18 plan did — you can upgrade by trading in your phone after 12 months.
Basically, going forward AT&T will only be offering a 30-month and a 24-month installment plan — no longer can you pay for your phone in 12 months. AT&T does say, however, that if you want to pay off your phone sooner you’ll be able to make additional payments on top of your monthly payments. Both of the plans also offer the option of a 30-percent down payment, which will help lower monthly costs, if that’s something you’re worried about.
According to AT&T, a $750 phone (such as the 16GB iPhone 6S Plus) will cost $25 per month on the Next plan, and $31.25 per month in the Next Every Year plan. You’ll also have to keep the $20 “activation fee” in mind when you get a new phone.