T-Mobile introduced a new plan this week, Go5G Next, aimed directly at people who are looking to upgrade their device yearly.
With this plan, when a customer is on a device payment plan (also known as “EIP” or equipment installment plan) and reaches the halfway mark of the payment plan (meaning 50% of the device is paid off), they become eligible for an upgrade. Covering the remaining half of your phone is T-Mobile who takes the phone in as a trade-in and gives you a shiny new device on a new 2-year EIP.
How It Works in T-Mobile's Words
- Switch to Go5G Next.
- Score the latest 5g phone on T-Mobile's no-interest phone payment plan (EIP) with any eligible offer. Right now, that's a free 5G smartphone for both new and existing customers with eligible trade-in via 24 monthly bill credits plus tax.
- Once you've paid off half your phone, you're eligible to upgrade! In most cases, customers are upgrade-ready every single year or sooner.
- Simply trade in your old phone (T-Mobile pays off your remaining EIP!) and upgrade to the latest phone on a new EIP.
Go5G Next won't be the cheapest plan out there, but that's not the point. The aim is please the relatively small group of people who want a phone upgrade every year. T-Mobile's own recent survey indicated just 10% of people prioritize yearly upgrades, where the majority are fine with upgrading their device every two years.
For a single line on Go5G Next, the price is $100/month with Autopay. That includes taxes, fees, a subscription to apple TV+, Netflix, 50GB of hotspot data, as well as decent international data amounts. As you'll see in T-Mobile's own chart, a single line isn't quite cost effective when compared to Verizon or AT&T, but should you have 3 lines, the $180/mo is the same regardless of carrier thanks to a limited time discount. Again, it's not about the money, it's about that shiny new device every year.
T-Mobile's Carrier Plan Comparison
T-Mobile says its new Go5G Next plans will be available starting this Thursday, August 24. To incentivize, new and existing T-Mobile customers are eligible for the discounted price of $60/mo per line for 3 lines that's shown above in the chart. The carrier doesn't specify when that offer will go away.
Device payment plans, while hardly every better than the ability to purchase a device outright, do allow for almost anyone to get the device of their dreams and make it affordable. It's hard to argue against that, but it's important to note that this sort of plan will never lead to device ownership if you choose to upgrade yearly. Like leasing a car, some people are cool with that and others aren't. It's up to the consumer.