Brett Molina, USA TODAY
A new AT&T plan will allow wireless customers upgrade their smartphones every year.
The carrier announced AT&T Next, an option that lets a smartphone or tablet owner snag a new device every year at no additional costs.
AT&T Next will work similarly to plans introduced by rival T-Mobile, which scrap traditional contracts in favor of paying for phones through monthly installments. The AT&T plan would allow a consumer to acquire a smartphone and make monthly payments for the full price of the phone with nothing down, then opt to upgrade after 12 months. If a consumer decides to keep their phone, they make payments for an extra 8 months.
AT&T says installments range from $15 to $50 a month, depending on the device. For example, a 16 GB iPhone 5, which carries a full price of $649.99, would be available for $32.50 per month.
The plan will be available nationwide starting July 26.
AT&T's endeavor is very similar to T-Mobile's recently introduced Jump program, which allows users to upgrade up to two times every 12 months. There are also reports Verizon Wireless will launch a similar program called VZ Edge.