Verizon has introduced a new plan to get you using newer phones faster. It's called Verizon Edge and it makes upgrading your phone early a breeze with an option to do so every six months. The plan, which comes into effect on August 25th, spreads payments on your next phone over 24 months and lets you upgrade every six months if 50% of the new phone's retail price has been covered.
While the idea of getting a new phone every six months if you choose is pretty cool, it is worth noting that this plan is downright nasty when you get down to the basics of it. Essentially this plan gets you paying for the phone you have, and a phone you don't, before you even have it. The new monthly payment associated with this plan essentially breaks down as one part subsidy for your current phone, and one part payment for something you don't have. While this plan is worth it to some when used early and often, it is downright terrible for those who choose not to upgrade in the first year.
For example, take a $650 Samsung Galaxy S4. At the end of your two year plan you will have fulfilled your $650 obligation to Verizon and paid off your phone. In addition to that you will have forked over $480 so you would have the opportunity to give Verizon even more of your money.
What Verizon, and other companies adopting similar plans, are doing is taking advantage of the consumer's desire to buy new phones and keep up with technology. This plan, and others like it, take advantage of people who just want to stay current. What these companies need to do is offer a plan that treats their customers with integrity and come up with a plan that allows consumers to spend their money, but have something to show for it.