Verizon Edge Will Let You Upgrade Your Smartphone Every 6 Months, But It’ll Cost You

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That didn’t take long. Following AT&T and T-Mobile’s lead, Verizon has announced a plan for early upgraders that theoretically allows users on their Share Anything plans to update their phones every six months.

The new plan is called Verizon Edge. Here’s how it works. If you sign up for Verizon Edge, you pay the full (subsidized) price of a retail phone, along with a month-to-month service plan. Your handset’s remaining subsidy costs are divided into 24 monthly installments, with the first payment due at point of sale.

So upfront, Verizon Edge will cost you a little more. But if you want to upgrade early, you can do so if you’ve paid off more than 50% of the device’s cost and you device is still in working condition. Then you rinse and repeat the whole process.

So let’s say you buy a 16GB iPhone 5. Retail price is $199 upfront. The unsubsidized price is $649. You’d have to pay $217.75 up front, and $18.75 going forward on a monthly basis. Six months later, you’d be more than eligible for an upgrade again, as long as you don’t break your iPhone.

Before you think this is a no-brainer though, keep in mind that Verizon is actually double dipping here: you have to be a subscriber of their Share Everything plans, which already have the price of a smartphone subsidy built into them. That means you’re paying Verizon an extra $18.75 a month to live on the cutting edge. If you can live with that, though, you can get a new smartphone twice as often as you have Christmas and birthdays. Not too shabby.