Consumer Reports weighs in on device upgrade plans

By , Jul 20, 2013

iPhone-5-Apple-Store-window-UTC-la-jolla

Earlier this week, we took a comparative look at the various new device upgrade plans that carriers have introduced over the last several days. There’s T-Mobile’s ‘Jump’ plan, AT&T Next, and Verizon’s ‘Edge’ program.

After crunching some numbers, we found that T-Mobile’s offering was the better of the three, as it doesn’t include device subsidy costs in its rate plans. And it looks like Consumer Reports, who did its own math, agrees…

CR’s Mike Gikas reports:

“We broke down the costs of owning an iPhone 5 on both plans, factoring in the cost of one upgrade to a similar-priced phone. As the table below shows, AT&T’s plan removes the shock of a down payment, though in the long run, T-Mobile’s significantly lower service costs actually make it cheaper to use that iPhone 5.”

And here’s the breakdown:

att tmobile chart

So as you can see, despite the $146 down payment, $10 SIM card fee (applicable to new customers only), and upgrade cost of $145, T-Mobile’s Jump plan is still far less expensive—by some $400—than AT&T Next.

Notice that Consumer Reports doesn’t mention Verizon’s Edge plan, as it was announced shortly before the article was published. For what it’s worth, though, we found it to fall somewhere in between the other two.

T-Mobile’s Jump plan is already in effect, AT&T’s Next launches next week, and Verizon Edge will be available in August. It’ll be interesting to see where carriers and customers stand on these plans when the dust settles.

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  • blastingbigairs

    Yes but does T-Mobile have true LTE like the big 3??? And I’m not talking HSPA (3G) either.

    • Pranav Bokey

      The big 3 in LTE are ATT, Verizon, T-Mobile. Not Sprint, at all. On July 10 T-Mobile launched 116 new lte cities covering 157 million people, all this in just 3 months since the first LTE Launch. From my experience in various cities T-Mobile averages around 25-38 down and 15-25 up. Sprint on the other hand averages around 13 down and 5 up, which is still slower than hspa. Sprint has had LTE for around a year now and has gotten little coverage out there,they only cover 23 of the top 100 markets while Tmo, att, vzw all have over 70 of the top 100. In lte And eeds T-mo is definetely the big 3

      • blastingbigairs

        It really depends on where you are, I’m currently getting 23 down and 17 up on Sprint as we speak, but I agree, it’s spotty and unreliable. I really dislike Sprint and cannot wait to be out of contract. That’s good to know TMO has come from only having Edge on an unlocked iPhone, to now LTE almost everywhere. Now I know I have more options in December when I am unchained from Sprint.

      • Misti curia

        Thats faster than home networks in Australia, the average internet connection speed here is 4 Mbps down.

      • blastingbigairs

        Yea but I’d way rather live in Australia. Nobody hates the Aussies!!!!! Cheers!!!

  • JulianZHuang

    why ATT cost 120$ per month?

    • Albert

      i was gonna say the same exact thing. i pay $150 for 3 lines all with data plan with ATT. of course, i have no unlimited talk or that much data…

  • Light

    I have been with AT&T for 14 years have their unlimited Iphone data plan and unlimited, talk and text on 3 iPhones and 3gb on 2 iPhones I pay around 310$ a month. I am a very happy customer. 5 iPhone’s for that price.

    • blastingbigairs

      I pay $237 a month on Sprint for 4 iPhones (unlimited everything), and one non-data flip phone for my Mom. Wow AT&T is so expensive!!!!

      • Light

        Yeah but sprint sucks, they don’t get coverage in the country where it matters and I get let almost anywhere. Plus I have international calling

      • blastingbigairs

        I live in San Diego so I could care less about “the country”, and I will never need international calling, but I agree Sprint’s LTE is spotty. I will be going to Verizon or TMO in December for sure. I will never go back to AT&T’s limited plans and crappy customer service, they were terrible!!!