AT&T: Half Of New Phone Buyers Are Choosing Next Plans

When you see AT&T advertising the hottest new phones as being available for “$0 down,” that’s if you opt for the early upgrade/installment payments plan called AT&T Next. While stock analysts (and, we’re guessing, AT&T itself) expected the program to be a huge hit, the prospect of getting a $15/month discount and paying full sticker price for a smartphone just isn’t tempting to the average consumer.

Yesterday, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, AT&T reported that there’s only a “take rate” of 50% for Next. When buying a new phone and presented with the choice of taking out a two-year contract or using Next to buy their new phone, customers are sticking with what they’re used to. They could also be doing the math, too, and would rather put more money down when they buy the phone and have a lower monthly bill going into the future. Depending on your rate plan, Next works out well for some people and doesn’t work for others: it requires doing some calculations, and not listening to AT&T’s salespeople when they sing the praises of spreading out the unsubsidized cost of your phone over 20 monthly installments.

AT&T expects customer usage of NEXT to reach 50 percent in third quarter [Reuters]

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