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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

New AT&T program offers smartphone, tablet upgrades every year



AT&T announced today it will offer customers annual upgrades with no down payment and no upgrade or activation fees.

Starting July 26, the company says, you'll be able to go to AT&T locations across the country, buy a smartphone or tablet without a down payment, agree to pay 20 monthly fees (varying from $15 to $50, depending on the gizmo you're buying) and be eligible to trade it in for an upgrade after a year.

"With AT&T Next, customers can get the newest smartphone or tablet every year with no down payment," AT&T Mobility president and CEO Ralph de la Vega said in a corporate news release. "That's hard to beat, and it's an incredible value for customers who want the latest and greatest every year."

According to folks who say they've done the math, it might work out to be a pretty good deal for some customers, and has certain advantages over AT&T's old upgrade program.

The move comes on the heels of T-Mobile's Jump upgrade program and rumors of a similar upgrade program from Verizon.

[Last modified: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 8:46am]


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