Verizon’s Edge plan is almost perfect

by: Nate SwannerJuly 18, 2013
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Verizon Wireless

The frontier of carrier subsidies is changing a bit, and that’s a good thing. While AT&T’s scam came as no surprise, this new plan from Verizon does. To be quite blunt, we expected something along the lines of AT&T’s complicated and corrupted model from Verizon. What we get is something much more dignified.

This is a win-win, and a pleasant surprise from the nation’s largest carrier.

Verizon’s Edge plan is pretty straightforward and simple, and actually kind of tears down the walls between you and your carrier a bit. When you look at the plan for what it is, the honesty is there. There is a concise clarity to this model we don’t always get from Verizon, making Edge a really refreshing choice.

It works out really simply: pick a phone, and a month-to-month service plan. The cost of the device is spread out over 24 months, and you can upgrade after 6 months. So long as half the retail cost of the phone is paid after that 6 month threshold, you’re free to start all over again with a new device, or simply walk away. There are no mysterious monthly fees, or painfully long waiting periods for upgrade. There is no early termination fee, and All of Verizon’s “Share Everything” plans are eligible, too.

You may want a new phone after 6 months, and Verizon doesn’t want to lose money. If you’ve paid half the cost of the device, everyone leaves happy. You didn’t get locked into some draconian contract for two years, and Verizon doesn’t end up taking it on the chin because you’re addicted to bleeding edge technology. This is a win-win, and a pleasant surprise from the nation’s largest carrier.

It takes effect on August 25th, so if you’re shopping for a new device and plan, check this out before making a decision. For a carrier that gets so many things wrong, this plan is all kinds of right.

  • RV

    I will lose my unlimited data so I do lose. and for those who say i don’t use more than 2 gig a month, wrong, I use an average of 4-5 gig a month, and thats just listening to music back and forth to work 5 days a week. the rest of the time I am on wi-fi to save battery life on my gnex

    • keeley991

      I’m with you I use about 5gb every month and I’m still on unlimited data. The guys over on droid life say this is the worst thing for customers, and there right your paying for your phone twice!!!

  • n900mixalot

    Okay, but do you have to return the device? That’s the question inquiring minds want to know!

    • John Hamernick-Ramseier

      Yes you do just like you have to on AT&T’s Next and T-mobile’s Jump.

  • John Hamernick-Ramseier

    Verizon’s Edge is similar to AT&T’s Next plan except for two things.

    1) Instead of your monthly installments being spread over 20 months, Verizon’s Edge requires they are spread over 24.

    2) Verizon allows you to upgrade every six months, instead of a year but you still have to pay for half of the phone and RETURN IT back to Verizon.

    So they are both as bad in my opinion.

  • bozs13
  • jjordan

    What happens to my grandfathered unlimited data plan is what I would like to know

    • from what I heard they’re not eligible for this……’re better off without it the Edge thing not unlimited data.

  • Jared Reed

    These plans all sound great, except for the fact that the carriers didnt adjust the monthly service fees. Yeah, you get an off contract phone, but have to pay a monthly finance payment on top of the service fee which is still the same price of someone who buys a phone on contract at a subsidized price. You’re paying a huge premium just to be off contract. let me break it down:

    Samsung GS4 off contract – $40/mo smatphone plan, $60/mo 2gb data, $650 device divded into 24 mo payments is $27/mo. Total – $127 mo x 12mo = $1524 yr

    Samsnug GS4 on contract – $40/mo smatphone plan, $60/mo 2gb data. $100/mo. $200 up front, one time subsidized price with no upgrade for 2 yrs. = $1400 in that yr.

    Basically, your getting charged $124 just for the opportunity to upgrade early, and even then, the cycle would start over and just snowball over time. Eitherway, without adjusting the monthly service fees, your’e out money with these off contract plans.

    This explains it better –

    • Alfredo Manuel Gonzalez II

      Jared read my post its perfect!!!

  • Denny

    Verizon’s plan is just as bad as at&t’s, what is this guy smoking? What a horribly written article, almost a sounds like a paid advertisement for Verizon. This was not thought out or researched at all.

    • Alfredo Manuel Gonzalez II

      Thank you my thoughts exactly I yelled at him too!!!

  • Tamadrummer94

    What are you talking about? This is exactly the same thing, with the option of paying it off quicker to upgrade earlier.

  • VicMatson

    Can you pay in advance so that you’re over the cost of the phone?

  • Alfredo Manuel Gonzalez II

    Sorry Nate are you a Verizon Rep the new plan is a rip off for dumb people!! I think it is your obligation to tell the truth to your readers!!! You think Verizon’s new Quarter earnings are high wait until they start this new RIP OFF PROGRAM!! I can’t believe the name of your article is ”

    Verizon’s Edge plan is almost perfect”

    this is ridiculous. Have you ever heard of subsidies??

    So here’s the math for the $650 Galaxy S4, based on widely held industry estimates of a $20 / month subsidy built into Verizon’s standard plans. Under Edge, you’ll pay $27 a month for a new GS4 on top of whatever plan you already have. That means at six months, Verizon will have collected $282 towards the price of that phone: $162 in Edge payments, and $120 in subsidies from your plan. But Verizon doesn’t count the subsidy towards the retail cost of the phone, so if you want to upgrade at six months, you’ll have to pay another $163, since you can only upgrade when 50 percent of the phone is paid off. That means Verizon will collect a total of $445 towards a $650 phone if you trade in that GS4 after six months, and it’ll get to resell that phone and start the cycle all over again.

    The math tilts even more favorably in Verizon’s favor if you don’t trade in your phone every six months. At 12 months, Verizon will have collected $565 towards that $650 phone: $325 in Edge payments and $240 in plan subsidies — and you still have to trade in the phone. By month 18, Verizon has collected $846: $486 in Edge payments, and $360 in device subsidies. That’s $196 in pure profit — money that would have otherwise gone to subsidize the cost of the phone.

    If you want to get really mad, just keep the math going to 24 months, at which point you’ll have paid $650 in Edge payments for the phone and Verizon will have collected $480 of udevice subsidies built into your plan. Compare that to Verizon’s standard two year contract, which would have cost you just $199 up-front and then nothing additional monthly: the built-in plan subsidy would have paid off the phone in the background, and you would simply walk away with the phone in hand. It is the clearest proof that Edge is designed to keep Verizon’s prices high while making you pay for phones more directly.


    • Brent Rodriguez

      Not only this but Verizon dosn’t buy the Galaxy S4 at the full retail cost. So verizon makes several hundred dollars more just for the phone.

      • Alfredo Manuel Gonzalez II

        Exactly even more rip off SMDH!!!1

      • TheRobotCow

        What’d you expect? Its a business after all. How do you expect people to make money? Every manufacture does this. You guys want top of the line smarphones but don’t want to pay then just get a cheap go-phone on a budget carrier. Is $30/month really all that expensive?

        • Zach Mauch

          It’s not the cost people are bashing, it’s the deception and and the lack of transparency. Verizon and AT&T would still get most customers if they followed Tmobile’s path but with higher prices because they have the network. Instead, they try to trick people into paying full price for a phone (let them not have to pay a subsidy) while maintaining the inflated subsidy pricing model.

          TMobile isn’t a cheap ass go-phone, they are just honest with what they are actually charging you.

          • TheRobotCow

            No where did I mention T-mobile you dumbass. Before you stuff words into my mouth please read it carefully three times.

          • Zach Mauch

            I suggest you do the same. T-Mobile was just an example. Remove any mention of T-Mobile from my comment and my point still stands. It’s not the price people are disputing, ti’s the lack of transparency and deception.

          • DecoyOctorok

            Although let’s be honest, T-Mobile would love to be in Verizon’s position. They were pretty much forced into offering the best deals in order to prevent customers from leaving during the years that they didn’t have the iPhone to offer.

    • TheRobotCow

      This is for you

  • Simon Belmont

    It’s only worth it if the service’s cost itself is also lowered (removal of subsidization built into the cost). Otherwise, you’re basically paying twice for the same phone each month.

    It’s double dipping. Just like AT&T’s version.

  • S. Ali

    Is this article a JOKE?? Man, how much did they pay you to write this article.

  • Kerry

    I’m curious as to which plan offered by VzW that is the most popular for say GS4, my wife and I plan on dropping our POTS and going wireless, we are going to get a couple of the GS4s; all views are welcome

  • Trent Richards

    Nate I like many of your articles, but I must agree with the other comments. This is very similar to AT&Ts Next and if you do the math it is quite the rip off. If carriers are going to “change” the way you pay for phones, then they need to actually change it. This system doesn’t change anything but rather adds additional cost to your phone if you want the option of upgrading earlier than every 2 years. Of course the sad thing is, even if you buy an unlocked phone and get service through any of the carriers, you are paying the same rate as subsidized customers. I use Verizon because I like the service quality that I get over T-Mobile, but the idea of buying a phone outright and getting T-Mobile’s service at a much lower price is beginning to sound appealing.

  • TheRobotCow

    Nate thank you for a good post. This allows us to get a new phone at retail but making it easier to pay. Did people really expect some sort of “Magical discount” from the most expensive carrier? If $30/month is too expensive then maybe you should move on to a different carrier. I don’t get why it’s so hard for some people to understand. Of course Verizon buys them at a price lower than retail and sells them for profit. It’s a business.

  • Vinnie

    I don’t understand what people are so upset about over this. Sounds pretty simple to me. If you CHOOSE the option to be able to upgrade your phone every 6 months, this is what it will cost you. No one is twisting your arm to do this and you can keep the plan and upgrade option you have right now. If you want the latest and greatest all the time you’re going to pay a premium. Verizon isn’t a charity organization after all.

    • John Hamernick-Ramseier

      Its the have to return the device that upsets me especially when I have to pay half of the phone.

  • Cal Rankin

    Well, that’s expensive. This has not done anything for my faith in Verizon. They don’t reduce their ripoff “Screw Everyone” plans’ price, so it is still not a very good deal. I can commend them that you don’t necessarily have to be locked into a contract for two years. They have just found another way to squeeze an early termination fee out of you.

  • baggins

    These plans are basically rental plans. Modeled just like the auto leasing industry. You want a new device every six months your going to have to pay for it. However, the subsidy issue is a ripoff and the carriers should be more transparent

  • yo

    Paid by VERIZON!!!!!!!!

  • yo

    what is the best carrier? AND DO NOT SAY VERIZON! I am with t-mob and I know… it is not the best. But good enough prices for me.

  • Kevin Jung Hwang

    this post is one of the dumbest thing i’ve ever read in AndroidAuthority. Please delete this article

  • Jack

    How much do they pay you guys?

  • MSmith79

    I almost laughed when I read this. How exactly is this rip-off plan so much better than the rip-off plan that AT&T is offering? They’re almost identical, and they’re both designed to take advantage of people that don’t realize that part of their monthly bill goes to pay for the phone. Just can’t believe Android Authority approved this article. It should be taken down.

  • Perry Kahai, Ph.D.

    I am left scratching my head. If Verizon’s plan is perfect, what’s wrong with T-Mobile’s? Or with AT&T’s? These plans are great for people (a minority) who want to get a phone often. The carriers are charging them for that “privilege.” For the rest of us (a majority), however, these plans suck! I am better-off buying the phone outright, then getting a contract-free service from Straight Talk or Walmart’s family offerings. Why would I pay full price for a phone, then get service from these carriers?

    As for the subsidy that’s being talked about everywhere you read, why are they using retail price as a starting point to calculate the subsidy? The cost to AT&T for, say, the S4 is likely in the $200 – $300 range. THAT should be the starting point for discussing subsidies that carriers supposedly give people who sign contracts. So, all of a sudden, AT&T’s (and other carriers’) justification for having customers sign a 2-year contract seems hollow. The carriers likely make up their subsidies in about 6 – 12 months. After that, whatever they make from customers is pure profit.

    But, Nate, why would you, as a journalist, write an article such as this? All of a sudden, you not only appear biased towards the carriers, you have insulted your readers’ intelligence. Did you think readers won’t know? An average reader like me reads just the headline and lmao! You seem to have ignored your journalistic ethics. Your job is to provide an unbiased view but you chose to be biased towards the wrong side likely assuming that readers won’t notice.

  • Grman Rodriguez

    Let me understand this, since im not american or familiar with these plansI buy an S4 today, and in 6 months I want to upgrade to a Z Ultra, supposing it costs 800 bucks.
    In 6 months i will have paid half the price of the s4: 325 bucks, and 120 bucks in a plan. Then after a year with the Z ultra over those $445 i would have paid 400 dollars for the z ultra and another $120, so it would have been a total of $965
    If i get a 2 year contract with the S4, and then buy an unlocked Z Ultra and put my SIM Card (Can you do that in the US?) I would spend 200 dollars for the S4, 240 for the plan over 12 months and 800 dollars over the Z ultra, so in total it would be 1240 dollars? Does it work like that?

    • John Hamernick-Ramseier

      Verizon has a CDMA/LTE network so because of CDMA you can’t just go buy an unlock phone. Unlock phone only works on gsm networks like T-Mobile or AT&T.

      • Grman Rodriguez

        Then what is the cheaper alternative? Or there isn’t one

  • Cayce Holmes

    Almost perfect… yea… just like that Nigerian banking offer I passed up last week. Maybe you’d be interested. /flush

  • Scammed

    I’m willing to pay off half of my phone price in order to walk away from verizon but they say I’m still responsible for paying the 27 dollars a month until my original phone is paid off (IE; two years,) even though I’m not in a contract per say. So, basically, after half the phone is paid off, you can upgrade to another one and restart or stay paying the edge price on top of the subsidized plan price. If you want to turn in your off and walk away, that’s not possible until you pay off the original retail price of your phone.

  • Guest

    “There is no early termination fee”
    I had to pay an early termination fee of $175 to get out of the Edge program, plus the inflated buy out price of the phone. Don’t do it – not worth it!