Though T-Mobile got the ball rolling with its "Jump!" plan that allows customers to upgrade their phones twice every year, AT&T soon followed suit with its similar "Next" pricing plans, which allow customers to upgrade after making payments on a device for one year. The announcements seem to have put pressure on Verizon, which earlier this week was rumored to be readying its own "VZ Edge" flexible upgrade plans for a September launch.
Today, "Verizon Edge" was officially announced. The offering will allow customers to make monthly payments on the price of a smartphone, spread over two years. Customers can then trade in and upgrade their device after 6 months, as long as half of the cost of their current device is paid off. The only requirement is that customers also purchase a month-to-month mobile service plan. No long-term contract with Verizon is needed. The plan is very similar to what AT&T's Next service is offering.
The Edge payment plans will be offered to customers with "Share Everything" plans starting Augusst 25 - a bit sooner than the company's leaked documents indicated.
The coming shift in U.S. mobile pricing could indicate that carriers are beginning to see new subscriber numbers slow as the U.S. smartphone market begins to saturate. Verizon has the most subscribers of any U.S. carrier, and added 1 million new subscribers during its second fiscal quarter of 2013.