1. cjvitek's Avatar
    I have a mobile share, and we moved from contract plans to NEXT plans. That saves up $25 per month on each line, or $600 over two years. At the end of two years, both the contract phones and NEXt phones are "owned" by the individual, so selling them in a moot point. To buy a phone on contact costs (for the cheap model) costs $199. With NEXT it is $649 (over two years). Add the $199 to $600, and you are paying $799 for a $649 phone. NEXT wins. Clearly if you upgrade every two years, it is cost effective to use the NEXT plan (if you have a 10GB plan or more). The NEXT plan costs that same as buying the phone outright, except you are spreading the cost out over 2 years. You can also pay off the phone at any time during that 2 year period, and it is yours.

    If you want to upgrade after 1 year, you aren't eligible for contract pricing if you are on contact. You might get a reduced price, but it will still be based on the retail price. With NEXT, after 1 year, you have paid $384. On the Contact plan, you have paid $300, plus $199 for the phone initially, or $499. If you can sell it for $100 less than the original retail price (let's say $549), and then pay the off contact price for a new phone after 1 year ($649) you now own a new phone, and have paid $599, compared to the NEXT plan that has paid $384, so you have paid $215 more with the contract. Now, it is true that you own your phone outright, and can upgrade again (and possible make some profit, since you will presumably buy a new phone on contract for $199). Over the 2nd year, contract plans have paid full retail price ($649) for their second phone (since they are still on contract and not eligible for an upgrade), plus are still paying $300 more each month for a contract, while NEXT upgraded (for free) and are still paying $384 per year for their phone. Assuming a contract person can sell their phone for $200 less than the original retail price (or $449 for the low end phone) one year after it has come out (which is possible, but maybe a little generous IMO) - they have now paid $549 during the second year, or $165 more than the NEXT people. Add this to the amount that contract paid more during the first year ($215) and the contract people have paid $380 more than the NEXT person. Yes, they now own their phone, and can sell it to buy a new phone on contract after the 2nd year, but they would need to sell it for at least $380 just to break even and be at the same starting place as the person with the NEXT phone. Then, when you buy a phone for $199 on contract, and a NEXT person gets their payments going again, they are starting at the same place (contract with a 2-year contract, NEXT with their leasing plan).

    And I realized I didn't include the activation charge for the contract phones - so add $80 to what a contract person is paying over two years.

    It is possible that a person with a contract might come out ahead *IF* they plan to upgrade each year AND they can get at least $400 to $450 for their low end phone each year, but it will not be by a substantial amount. In addition, keep in mind you can pay off your NEXT balance and own your phone at any time. If you plan to completely pay off you phone (either over 20/24 months, or paying it off in advance) NEXT is a better option (similar to simply buying the phone outright). NEXT is basically like a 0% interest rate loan, which makes financial sense, as the money you get now is more valuable that the money you are paying off in the future (due to inflation). If you plan to upgrade after 1 year, they plans are similar in overall cost, with the "cheapest" plan determined by how much you can sell a 1-year old, low end model. If you can sell if for $415 or more, then the contract plan is more cost effective. If you can't, then the NEXT plan is more cost effective.

    This also doesn't include the benefit of NOT being on a contract, which is part of the NEXT plan.

    Chris
    09-14-2014 02:41 PM
  2. cjvitek's Avatar
    Not sure you can switch back and forth. if youre doing Next and still on a 2-year subsidy plan, then youre double paying for your phone. Part of the plan cost is a subsidy repayment to AT&T (which you would not be getting, but still paying for).
    I can't speak for other plans, but with Mobile Share, if you are not on a contract plan (i.e., bring your own phone OR using the NEXT plan) you monthly cost is either $15 or $25 cheaper than the contract monthly plan cost (depending on how much data you have). At 10GB, I am paying $25 less per line than if they lines were on contract with my Mobile Share plan - or $300 less per year.

    AT&T also had a period where they allowed people to switch from contract to NEXT, and get a $25 credit per line (even if their contract was still in effect). I think that ended back in March, so you have to plan ahead for it.
    09-14-2014 02:46 PM
  3. warcraftWidow's Avatar
    Chris - that analysis sounds correct to me, but depends on someone's current plan being the mobile share with the per line access cost of $40 which would be reduced to a per line access fee of $15 on a Next plan.
    If someone's current on contract plan is like mine and is an "old-school" voice plan and separate data then the math doesn't work out favorably to the Next plan. I currently am on a shared 550 minute plan with 2 iPhones both with unlimited data. No texting plan. Our contracts expire on opposing years so we get one new phone each year and have one phone coming up off contract per year.
    Here's a link to a spreadsheet I used to determine what was best for me. Hopefully others might find it useful to download and adapt for themselves. https://www.dropbox.com/s/b9hhhepy0b...ison.xlsx?dl=0
    Vaas likes this.
    09-14-2014 02:53 PM
  4. cjvitek's Avatar
    Chris - that analysis sounds correct to me, but depends on someone's current plan being the mobile share with the per line access cost of $40 which would be reduced to a per line access fee of $15 on a Next plan.
    If someone's current on contract plan is like mine and is an "old-school" voice plan and separate data then the math doesn't work out favorably to the Next plan. I currently am on a shared 550 minute plan with 2 iPhones both with unlimited data. No texting plan. Our contracts expire on opposing years so we get one new phone each year and have one phone coming up off contract per year.
    Here's a link to a spreadsheet I used to determine what was best for me. Hopefully others might find it useful to download and adapt for themselves. https://www.dropbox.com/s/b9hhhepy0b...ison.xlsx?dl=0
    That's true. I have no idea about the costs differences with the older plan. I didn't even think about those plans, because I don't think they are offered at all and can only be grandfathered in.

    Back in March, I ran through multiple spreadsheets and plan options, and determined this Mobile share was the best option for me (5 line, all with iPhones, some not using too much data, etc.).

    Spreadsheets are the best!
    09-14-2014 03:03 PM
  5. warcraftWidow's Avatar
    That's true. I have no idea about the costs differences with the older plan. I didn't even think about those plans, because I don't think they are offered at all and can only be grandfathered in.

    Back in March, I ran through multiple spreadsheets and plan options, and determined this Mobile share was the best option for me (5 line, all with iPhones, some not using too much data, etc.).

    Spreadsheets are the best!
    Spreadsheets are great! I had a ATT rep insist that switching to a mobile share plan and Next would save me money so I had to use the spreadsheet to prove her wrong for my situation.
    09-14-2014 03:22 PM
  6. Jim Krupnik's Avatar
    I don't get the complaints about the Next plan.. The total cost is the SAME. Actually, the Next plan wins a bit if you have a 10 gig or higher data plan. I do, and I paid $57 in tax charges up front for a gold 128 gig iPhone 6. My monthly cost to finance the phone is $37/month over two years, with the ability to pay ahead of time as I please. There is no two year contract. When the phone is paid off, I own it. If I choose to upgrade at 18 months, and not pay off the phone, I give them this phone, and carry on with a new model. No connection fees, no upfront cash. Or, I just pay off this iPhone 6, keep it, and go with a new phone with nothing but tax up front.

    In return, AT&T discounts my monthly connection fee by $25/month forever. So, I just paid $57 up front for an iPhone 6/128 gig, my bill went up only $12/month, I own the phone in 24 months, I can prepay the 0% phone financing any time I choose, I have no contract lockin, and I have the option of trading in my new phone in 18 months without spending anything but the tax bill again... If I pay off the phone early, or keep it for 24 months, my monthly bill drops by an additional $37/month. No contract. What's not to like?
    09-14-2014 10:57 PM
  7. metacuate's Avatar
    Why would anyone choose the Next, is beyond me.
    It is cheaper in my case. No activation fee, no upgrade fee, a 0% loan, 25$ a month discount, and all I pay upfront is tax. Way, way better deal especially since they erased my old contract when I took a next loan out.

    Posted via iMore App
    09-14-2014 11:06 PM
  8. HankAZ's Avatar
    I don't get the complaints about the Next plan.. The total cost is the SAME. Actually, the Next plan wins a bit if you have a 10 gig or higher data plan. I do, and I paid $57 in tax charges up front for a gold 128 gig iPhone 6. My monthly cost to finance the phone is $37/month over two years, with the ability to pay ahead of time as I please. There is no two year contract. When the phone is paid off, I own it. If I choose to upgrade at 18 months, and not pay off the phone, I give them this phone, and carry on with a new model. No connection fees, no upfront cash. Or, I just pay off this iPhone 6, keep it, and go with a new phone with nothing but tax up front.

    In return, AT&T discounts my monthly connection fee by $25/month forever. So, I just paid $57 up front for an iPhone 6/128 gig, my bill went up only $12/month, I own the phone in 24 months, I can prepay the 0% phone financing any time I choose, I have no contract lockin, and I have the option of trading in my new phone in 18 months without spending anything but the tax bill again... If I pay off the phone early, or keep it for 24 months, my monthly bill drops by an additional $37/month. No contract. What's not to like?
    Again, it’s incredibly situational. How many phone lines do you have? We have 5. All of the savings that we would get from switching to the mobile share plan would be eaten up by Next charges. If we upgrade every phone as soon as we can, it will cost us and extra $1165 over a 2 year period. No thanks. As with most things, do the homework and figure it out. YMMV.
    09-14-2014 11:09 PM
  9. applejosh's Avatar
    Going Next and keeping my current plan(s) with unlimited data is more expensive. But I was planning on buying this phone outright without signing up for a new 2 year contract. I wasn't eligible for an upgrade yet, and the Apple Store app wouldn't let me buy a phone without picking contract or Next. So I'll pay off the balance of the Next at some point in the near future, request to unlock it (since there is a chance I will be traveling abroad), and have an interest free loan in the mean time. I may also drop my unlimited data plan on my two lines since I rarely go above 2GB on mine and 1GB on my wife's. I figure a 10GB shared plan will be more than enough for a while. But there is a certain pride I have in having the grandfathered unlimited data plan...
    09-14-2014 11:56 PM
  10. Jaker011's Avatar
    AT&T Next makes a lot of sense for a lot of people, but it always gets a bad name when the specific cases come out of the woodwork.

    Next makes sense for those with more than two smartphones on an account that have no need for unlimited data but still want to use their phone without getting overages. Yes, Next really is for more data hungry customers or family plans, not those needing a single line or even two smartphone lines with low data usage.

    I never feel right telling people to go with Next if they have a 4GB plan or lower (the 6GB is a complete waste of existence). I honestly get surprised when a customer walks in with a 300MB plan and an iPhone on Next. They are wasting a ton of money there.

    As far as getting the customers the best price available, I can't magically wave a wand and change AT&T's rate plans. I feel that Next is a great way for people to save money over time. I don't really think of pushing it as an early upgrade option either. I barely sell one Next 12 for every 15 Next 18 plans at any given time. It's about making sure you still get whatever phone you really want and make it the best possible price so you don't lose anymore money than you have to.
    09-15-2014 01:00 AM
  11. HankAZ's Avatar
    What it comes down to is doing the analysis. There is no one plan that qualifies as "one size fits all". There are reasons why NEXT/Mobile Share is better for some folks, and the 2-year contract Family Share plan is better for others.

    If you want to save money on your cell phone bill (or anything, for that matter), you have to do the work to figure it out. Period.
    09-15-2014 10:11 AM
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