AT&T Chicago store (interior 001)

Joining the existing Next 12 and Next 18 plans, U.S. wireless carrier AT&T at Tuesday’s AT&T Consumer Industry Analyst Conference took the wraps off its new Next 24 plan which allows customers to take 30 months to pay for their iPhone (or other smartphone) in monthly installments beginning November 9.

Just like the Next 12 and Next 18 plans which allow subscribers to pay off their device in 20 and 24 months, respectively, the Next 24 plan upgrades you to a new device after 30 months have passed and you’ve brought in your current smartphone in good condition.

As a bonus, the carrier also announced a $150 bill credit for switchers who activate a new line of service with a smartphone on AT&T Next.

”After 24 payments, if in good condition, customers can trade in their AT&T Next smartphone and upgrade to a brand new device under a qualifying offer,” the carrier confirmed.

If you combine one of the AT&T Next plans with Mobile Share Value plans, the carrier will treat you to a monthly discount on the access charge for that smartphone line, good for a monthly saving of $25 per month for plans 10GB or higher or $15 per month on plans less than 10GB.

AT&T Next is available for new, qualified AT&T customers or existing customers who are upgrade eligible.

While the new Next 24 plan gives your greater flexibility and allows for lower monthly payments and more time to pay off your smartphone, I’m not so sure it will catch on with the modern consumer.

Put simply, 30 months is too long a wait to get a new device. Two and a half years is an eternity in the fast-paced mobile industry where smartphones are considered outdated merely a year after being introduced.

In other AT&T news, the carrier earlier this week announced a partnership with rival Verizon that will bring interoperability for their respective Voice over LTE services in 2015.

Plus, subscribers on AT&T’s shared plans now get more LTE data and unlimited international messaging for no additional cost.

[AT&T Blog]