Once T-Mobile unveiled Jump, its program that gives you access to a phone upgrade every six months, AT&T and Verizon answered by announcing their own early upgrade plans. Verizon Edge lets you get a shiny new smartphone every six months, while AT&T Next gives you a new phone once a year. Like T-Mobile Jump, both programs require a trade-in of your old device when you upgrade, but unlike Jump, neither program requires a separate monthly fee. And you’re not eligible to upgrade to a new device until you’ve paid off half the cost of your phone. But that’s not the whole story. T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon build the cost of phone subsidies into their monthly service fees, so with all these plans you’re actually paying for the phone twice. Once, built into your monthly phone bill and again in the installment plan. Next and Edge won’t save you money, so go pick the phone with the features you want, and get another new one for free in two years.

Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is Managing Partner at Palmer Advanced Media, a technology-focused strategic advisory practice that helps Fortune 500 companies and growth-stage companies with digital strategy, data science, marketing, branding, and business development. He is Fox 5 New York's on-air tech and digital media expert and a regular commentator on CNBC and CNN. @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com.

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"Shelly Palmer Radio Report – July 22, 2013" by @ShellyPalmer