T-Mobile Announces 'Jump' Phone Upgrade Program

At an event in Manhattan today, T-Mobile USA announced a new phone upgrade program called "Jump," which is designed to allow subscribers to upgrade their phones at regular intervals.

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With Jump, customers will pay the same subsidized amount that a new customer pays, without the need to wait to qualify for an upgrade. Jump requires T-Mobile customers to pay a $10 monthly fee for the service and trade-in old devices, but it offers up to two phone upgrades per year after a six month waiting period. T-Mobile CEO John Legere spoke to AllThingsD about the new program:

"This is one of those things that annoys customers so much," CEO John Legere said in an interview ahead of a New York press event. Legere said that the company wanted to address this issue when it first did away with two-year contracts back in March, but needed a little more time to work out the details.

This is a significant policy change that sets T-Mobile apart from other carriers, which often require contracts to expire before upgrade pricing on a new device is available. Both Verizon and AT&T, for example, have recently implemented policies that only allow customers to upgrade after 24 months have passed.

T-Mobile's policy change comes three months after it announced both the iPhone 5 and its "Uncarrier" policies, which allow customers to purchase a phone without a monthly contract. Instead, T-Mobile requires a down payment of $150 along with a $20 monthly device fee for the iPhone 5.

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.

T-Mobile has published a series of ads on the new Jump feature, with the slogan "Upgrade when you want, not when you're told."

Top Rated Comments

Sky Blue Avatar
116 months ago
So... You're paying $10 a month and you have to give up your old device?

If you want the latest iPhone, on top of the cost of the phone, you're paying $120 a year extra and losing out on the $$$ from selling you're old phone.

Pretty crap deal.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
F123D Avatar
116 months ago
I'm going back to a land line, dial up internet, and a pager and not deal with any of this.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
brand Avatar
116 months ago
Not sure if AT&T does this, but with Verizon, while you do sign a 2 year contract, you are able to upgrade within 6 months of your contract expiring. So really you are only locked in for 18 months. I don't see the need to continuously update your device unless you just have to have the best thing that's out. Which is fine, just would rather save that money to spend on something else.

My personal preference. To each their own of course!

That is now misinformation.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chrisbru Avatar
116 months ago
So you buy a device on a payment plan, decide hafway thru paying for it you want a newer device, upgrade on another payment plan and still pay off the old payment plan PLUS $120 extra dollars a year?

SEEMS LEGIT.

The way I understand it is this (for example):
10/1/2013: Pay downpayment on iPhone 5S (is this $200? I don't know)
Oct 2013-Sept 2014: Pay $20/month payment on phone, plus $10/month jump fee
10/1/2014: Pay downpayment on iPhone 6, surrender half-paid-for iPhone 5S
Oct 2014-Sept 2015: Pay $20/month payment on phone, plus $10/month jump fee


Anyone else see it this way? In this sense, you are paying $560/year to have the latest and greatest device. T-Mobile then re-sells your one generation old device to someone who wants a lower downpayment/monthly payment/etc.

The other scenario is:
10/1/2013: Pay $649 for unlocked iPhone 5S
10/1/2014: Pay $649 for unlocked iPhone 6
10/?/2014: Sell iPhone 5S for ~$450.

In this scenario, you have a greater initial investment ($649 in year one instead of $560) but only about a $200 cost in the years going forward.

This seems like a good way for T-Mobile to make money off of customers who want the ease of just paying a set monthly price for their device and not deal with the hassle of buying and selling phones each year.

It's almost like leasing a car.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jclo Avatar
116 months ago
So you buy a device on a payment plan, decide hafway thru paying for it you want a newer device, upgrade on another payment plan and still pay off the old payment plan PLUS $120 extra dollars a year?

SEEMS LEGIT.

You no longer continue to pay for the old device, you trade it in and then pay the device fee on the new device. You're not paying two device fees at once.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BJMRamage Avatar
116 months ago
Does this mean you can pay the $10 monthly if you buy a phone that is close to a new phone release date, THEN when the new phone comes out, upgrade and then drop the $10 monthly?

seems good, i suppose , if you are a super regular upgraded...i am not, still on iphonr 4
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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