Consumer Reports weighs in on device upgrade plans


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.