At an event today in New York, T-Mobile launched their new JUMP plan, which is a secondary plan that allows people to upgrade their phones more often and more easily.
How does this new JUMP plan work? Well, first of all, you subscribe to the JUMP plan, which will cost you about $10 a month on top of your monthly contract and the price of your phone split across however many months it will take you to pay it off. Usually this is a 24-month pricing scheme, so you’re usually looking at about $20 a month for the phone. So, let’s say you pay $199 for the HTC One, you pay your price upfront, plus your contract, plus your monthly phone charges, plus JUMP. Nobody is arguing that this is cheap, I would probably end up paying $100 a month if I didn’t already own my HTC One and if I stuck with my $70 unlimited everything plan (10GB of 4G Data) and got JUMP.
However, most people do not realize that JUMP includes T-Mobile’s PHP or Premium Handset Protection. This service runs from $4.79 a month up to $8 a month. However, you are limited to two insurance claims per year, which still isn’t bad because it WILL save you from not having a phone for the next few months. You would effectively only be paying between $2-5 a month extra to actually get JUMP since you’re getting insurance bundled with the JUMP already. With premimium handsets (what most people get nowadays) you are really only paying $2 a month. Now, if T-Mobile is offering the PHP Bundle, then you actually save money by doing JUMP, but I have a feeling that they aren’t offering that with JUMP.
Now that we’ve got all of the financials out of the way, what does JUMP actually entail? You get one new device upgrade every 6 months. There are no catches, you get a new upgrade every 6 months with JUMP AND you get handset insurance to protect you from not having a phone in 6 months. But remember, you only get 2 insurance claims per year. When you decide that you want to upgrade, all you have to do is pay the on-contract price for the device and pay whatever the new monthly fee would be to ‘pay off’ the device in 24 months or whatever period of time you wish to take. Additionally, you will have to turn in your old phone into T-Mobile, but with the pace of devices moving as fast as they are, you can easily get a new device every 6 months, which is what most people seem to want to do nowadays. This should, in theory, help new device sales if new devices are being sold in 6 month cycles instead of 24 month cycles. And admittedly, we all know that no device manufacturer is working on a 24 month cycle anyways, so why should your contract be on a 24 month cycle.
With T-Mobile’s 6 month upgrade cycle, you’re effectively going to be able to get the phones you want, when you want them instead of waiting for your upgrade to happen. I must really applaud T-Mobile for thinking outside of the box on this one and giving consumers exactly what they want. I have a feeling that a lot of people will likely JUMP ship from AT&T, Sprint and Verizon purely because of this program. Heck, we might even see some of their competitors launching similar programs to compete if T-Mobile takes away enough business. Not to mention, T-Mobile now has one of the best selections of all the carriers when it comes to new devices. T-Mobile is the only carrier with the Xperia Z, which is a GREAT phone. They are also the only carrier that has the Nexus 4 on contract and they also have a multitude of popular devices like the Galaxy S4, HTC One, iPhone 5, Blackberry Z10, and Note 2.