Verizon has announced that, starting August 13, it will end offering contract discounts for smartphones and other devices. The move aligns Verizon Wireless closer to AT&T and T-Mobile plans, which now offer no contracts – but devices cost the full retail amount.
Verizon’s Edge program will be the only way to obtain a device going forward, other than paying the full retail cost. Devices that are paid in full, on Edge plans, qualify for a significant monthly discount. The Edge program is a zero-percent financing system that includes early upgrading options.
If you have a grandfathered plan that only makes economical sense with a 2-year contract, you should act quickly if you are eligible to renew your contract.
First, you should decide if renewing your contract for a discounted phone makes sense. If you have unlimited data, you will lose it – unless you have a multi-line plan, and use the upgrade transfer trick to your benefit. The upgrade transfer “trick” works by sacrificing one line’s unlimited data (or adding a line) and then routing all device upgrades through it – using the upgrade transfer tool inside My Account at VerizonWireless.com.
With Sprint and T-Mobile now offering unlimited, unthrottled data plans, it may make sense to switch. Odds are though, if you are on a Verizon contract plan still – you are doing so because you need their coverage.
You can still do a 2-year upgrade between now and the 13th anywhere Verizon has partnered with, unless using the upgrade transfer tool, so consider checking places like Walmart, Best Buy, and Amazon for better pricing. Just make sure your order is locked in on the 12th.
The August 13 date is not a new one. It coincides with the previously-refuted launch date for the Sony Xperia Z4v – Sony’s halo phone for the United States in 2015. When documents showed August 13 as the launch date for the phone, it was quickly refuted by Sony’s second-party PR agency. It now seems that date may in fact be the launch date, ensuring that the Z4v cannot be sold on-contract.
And that underscores the real problem with renewing your contract on Verizon. If you were waiting for a new iPhone or an iconic device like the Z4v… you’re out of luck. Your best option at this point is renewing, then selling the highest-value phone you can on the secondhand market – pocketing the profit to go toward the full-retail cost of the phone.
On one bright side, this will hopefully put an end to Verizon engaging in launch date price fixing on smartphones (refusing to sell phones at the full retail price) – something we’ve been squarely in the right for calling them out on in the past.