updated 02:12 pm EDT, Sat April 13, 2013
New plan would have customers paying off phones over a year
Verizon on Friday appeared to take a step toward countering T-Mobile's recent headline-grabbing UNcarrier pricing structure. The nation's largest wireless carrier announced that it would be extending the parameters of its Device Payment Plan, allowing customers to spread the cost of a device over the course of a year. The announcement came along with news that the carrier would be lengthening its upgrade timetable from 20 to 24 months.
With more devices being eligible for the Device Payment Plan, customers wanting the latest hardware will be able to divide the costs of that hardware into 12 segments. Verizon told Engadget that the cost of those monthly segments will "sit on top of existing service plans, not inside them -- the base service rate won't go down in year two."
Verizon's move comes as the wireless industry may be on the verge of disruption. T-Mobile's UNcarrier announcement grabbed the attention of the media for weeks, and Verizon quickly countered, saying that it could go contract-free if consumers showed interest in such a model.