Verizon Wireless announced changes to its upgrade policies yesterday, phasing out its early upgrade option for all contracts that expire in January 2014 or later. Typically, users had been able to upgrade to a new smartphone after 20 months. Now, customers will be forced to wait the full duration of their contract, which is the entire 24 months of a two-year service agreement.
The timing of this move might present a negative PR situation for Verizon Wireless, in light of the new “Uncarrier” plans that competing network T-Mobile USA recently rolled out. Moreover, AT&T and Sprint still offer early upgrade options of 20 months to their customers. Nevertheless, Verizon feels that this change better reflects the smartphone buying trends of it customers.