T-Mobile chief executive officer John Legere has publicly condemned AT&T Next, calling the new service “smoke and mirrors,” “a poor copycat,” and warning potential subscribers that the carrier charges more and offers less than T-Mobile’s similar plan, Jump.
The comments come just one day after the news of AT&T Next surfaced online. As a reminder, the service promises to allow subscribers to change smartphones or tablets every year, by enrolling customers in a monthly payments scheme which can be renewed as handsets are upgraded. AT&T promised that the service is in the best interest of subscribers, since it allows those enrolled to upgrade to next-generation smart devices easily.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere, however, disagrees.
In an email sent on Tuesday, July 16 to CNET, he asserted that “[AT&T's] offer is terrible.” T-Mobile executive Andrew Sherrard explained further:
They’re charging you twice on the same phone and calling that a good deal. As people dig into this, they’ll find it’s a much better deal to go with Jump.
Responding to T-Mobile’s comments, an AT&T representative said: “We’re not taking away anything. We’re just giving people choice by removing the up-front cost and allowing them to upgrade their phone.”
According to CNET, AT&T refused to discuss the direct comparisons between AT&T Next and T-Mobile Jump. But the carrier did remind the publication that it offers subscribers a larger (and faster) 4G LTE network.
With Verizon said to be introducing a similar plan, VZ Edge, in August, the situation is only going to get more interesting. Once Apple’s next-generation “iPhone 5S” eventually launches, it would appear that customers in the United States are going to have the option of choosing one of at least three “upgrade early” plans, and as a result will have the chance of more easily grabbing an “iPhone 6” come 2014.
Which of the three plans is best, however, presently remains to be seen.
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