AT&T Next a Surprising Success

The major U.S. carriers rolled out device upgrade programs earlier this year, designed to let customers get new smartphones and tablets without having to wait until their two-year service contracts were up. At least one is being called a success, despite the clamor from critics who say they are nothing more than “smoke and mirrors” and a “huge ripoff.”

At an investor conference this week, AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega said that AT&T Next is surpassing company expectations for its adoption rate among customers. In the fourth quarter, Vega predicts that about 10 percent of customers will sign up for Next, which skeptics have said is only for fanboys who can’t stand to wait for the latest gadget.

AT&T Next allows customers to upgrade to a new device after one year of ownership. They can even buy a smartphone for no money down and instead pay a little bit more on monthly bills. Customers would still pay for subsidized prices for their device regardless of whether or not they pay at once or over time, Ubergizmo noted.

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