News by Andrew Kameka on Wednesday July 10, 2013.
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T-Mobile today introduced its "boldest move yet" and announced a new "Jump!" program that will allow customers to update their smartphones when the customers wish to get a new phone. Rather than wait until a contract expires, customers will be able to switch up to two times per year.
T-Mobile's change comes at a time when rival carriers are moving in the opposite direction and making subscribers wait even longer to upgrade to new phones. Verizon Wireless in April shifted its upgrade requirements to require that customers wait until 24 months from their contract start date in order to get a new phone. AT&T in June changed its rules to also force a delay.
Under its new upgrade plan, T-Mobile customers can pay $10 per month in order to gain access to a much faster upgrade cycle. Jump! will limit customers to only two upgrades per year but the monthly payment will allow T-Mobile subscribers to get a new phone at the same cost as a new customer. The program also protects against damage, loss, or theft, so "Jump!" is like smartphone insurance with an accelerated upgrade program mixed together.
T-Mobile explains how it works with the following explanation:
"Customers can upgrade to a new phone, financed through T-Mobile's Equipment Installment Program (EIP), twice every 12 months after they've been in the JUMP! program for six months. Simply trade in an eligible T-Mobile phone in good working condition at a participating store location. Any remaining EIP payments will be eliminated, and current customers can purchase new phones for the same upfront pricing as new customers, with device financing and Simple Choice Plan, a no-annual-service contract. "
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.