T-Mobile USA today announced “Jump” – a new service which, it says, will allow you to upgrade your smartphone every six months, ridding the need to wait until you’re within the last months of your wireless contract before the carrier will authorize an upgrade to the latest available handset(s).
Here’s the catch. Customers who want the flexibility of upgrading their handset every 6-months (2 upgrades per year) must first begin paying a $10 monthly fee. Regardless of whether you plan to upgrade or not, if you choose the “Jump” Program, you start paying $120 a year for the ‘chance’ to upgrade.
The new service will allow you to “trade-in” your old smartphone handset in exchange for a new handset, like (for example) the iPhone 5. While we admire T-Mobile’s want to change the broken ‘Carrier’ approach, though, “Jump” would (at least, initially) seem to be a more expensive option for customers.
For example, let’s say you choose the iPhone 5 as your new handset. On top of your $120 annual “trade-in benefits” fee, a further $150 upfront applies for the actual handset, and a $20 monthly fee is required just for you to essentially “rent” the handset over your wireless term (6-months, if you choose to upgrade — or longer, if you’re not ready to upgrade after that time).
T-Mobile will let you add your first line at $50 per month, and every other line after that at $30 per month. If you want to add 2GB worth of data to that, you’re looking at a further $10 per month (per line) — and if you want to go “Unlimited,” you can add $20 per month (per line) to your gradually inflating monthly plan.
If you’re on T-Mobile’s “Family Plan”, however, adding a new line will thankfully only cost you $10 per month (per line).
There’s a new “Family Plan” coming, too:
“At today’s event, T-Mobile also announced that it plans to create a new family plan for customers without enough credit to quality for traditional phone contracts and plans to expand its LTE network in the near future.”
Overall, the company’s announcement today will no doubt be great news for those who don’t mind spending the extra $120 per year to upgrade their smartphone whenever they want. For the average customer who might be closely watching the cost of their monthly plan, however, “Jump” may be considered unnecessary, taking into account the fact that they are probably not going to upgrade their smartphone every 6-months.
Those who do want to learn more about this significant change in the company’s smartphone upgrade policy, (and everything it entails), can now head to T-Mobile.com.
The service goes live for both new and existing customers, July 14.