Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Verizon Customers Will Have to Wait Full Two Years for That Phone Upgrade

Verizon Wireless announced changes Friday that mean many customers will need to wait longer to get that shiny new phone.


The carrier had been letting customers under a two-year contract upgrade to a new, subsidized device after 20 months. However, starting with those whose contracts expire next January, customers will have to wait the full 24 months.

Verizon notes that customers willing to pay the full price of the new phone can upgrade at any time.

Customers will also be able to share an eligible upgrade with another person on their account. However, as of April 15, Verizon won’t let you transfer an upgrade from a hotspot, tablet or other non-phone device. Also, Verizon is not letting customers use expired credits from its discontinued “New Every Two” program.

In recent years, AT&T and Sprint have also tightened their upgrade policies or added fees for customers looking to get a new, subsidized phone. AT&T says it still lets customers upgrade after 20 months.

The moves appear to have the intended effect of lengthening time between upgrades and thereby boosting profit margins.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik