T-Mobile tweaking JUMP plan to let customers upgrade phones at any time

T-Mobile(s tmus) customers with a fear of commitment will be able to upgrade their handset at any time thanks to modifications of the carrier’s Jump plan. Starting later this month, the 6-month waiting period for phone upgrades will be dropped but not without a catch: Under the new terms, T-Mobile will only cover half of the old phone’s remaining balance.
T-Mobile media event
The updated plan details were first spotted by T-Mo News on on Thursday. The site then published a T-Mobile PR statement on Friday with the following details:

T-Mobile sparked a revolution in the wireless industry in 2013, beginning with the elimination of service contracts and a call for ‘Contract Freedom.’ Our innovative JUMP! handset upgrade program is an important cornerstone of our Un-carrier movement, and soon (starting February 23) you will be able to upgrade as many times as you like:

  • Whenever you’re ready to upgrade, trade in your device and T-Mobile will pay your remaining device payments up to 50% of the device cost. There is no more waiting period or limit to the number of times you can upgrade per year.
  • And we didn’t stop there – we’ve also added tablets to the program!   We’re excited about how these program enhancements give our customers even more freedom to upgrade when they want, instead of when they’re told.

The old-guard carriers all tried to follow our lead last year, but none can match the variety of freedoms we provide to our customers with JUMP!

The biggest change here is the removal of the 6-month waiting period. Customers will still have to trade in their old handset and based on the new 50 percent clause, any remaining balance for the old phone would have to be paid by the customer. Tablets too are now part of the Jump program, and T-Mo news says you can only upgrade a tablet from a prior tablet; don’t expect to trade in a phone for a tablet or vice versa.
The Jump program pricing isn’t changing. For $10 a month, the Jump program both allows for the early device upgrades and for device insurance. Current Jump subscribers can keep their existing terms or can opt-in under the changed plans.