Phones 4U 'JUMP'. Swap Your Contract Phone Every Six Months

We get it, and we're sure you do too if you're reading this. Two years is sometimes too long with one phone.  Maybe your phone is outdated far too soon, or maybe you just want to try all of the options in the smartphone market.  This is why independent phone retailer Phones 4U has begun its all new plan, simply called JUMP (Just Upgrade My Phone).

Basically, it's two contracts running side-by-side: one with your carrier of choice, and a second with Phones 4U.  Instead of signing two years of your life away with a phone and contract from the network, you go for a cheaper SIM-only plan, and essentially rent the handset from the store.  

However, this sort of 'contractual freedom' does come at a bit of a cost, compared to your standard fare of agreement.  Since each time you upgrade your phone incurs an extra layer of cost, it could get rather convoluted (and pricey) rather rapidly.

Regardless of the concern, it's an interesting concept for those of us Smartphone debonairs who like to keep ahead of the iterative curve, even if upgrading is sometimes rather pointless.

press release source

PHONES 4U LAUNCHES 'JUMP'

New type of contract gives customers the freedom to change their
handset as often as every six months

10th February 2012: Phones 4u is today announcing the national rollout
of JUMP ('Just Upgrade My Phone') – a new type of contract which
enables consumers to upgrade their mobile phone, from a selection of
the latest smartphones on the market, as often as every 6 months.

Differing from other flexible offerings on the market, JUMP doesn't
require any upfront fees at the point of upgrade and customers own
rather than lease the handset. For the added flexibility of being able
to upgrade as often as every six months, customers will only need to
initially pay an average added monthly cost of £2.99 - £3.99,
dependent on the original JUMP contract chosen.

JUMP has been successfully trialled since May 2011 in 100 stores. The
national rollout begins today and the offering is expected to be
available in all of Phones 4u's 586+ stores, via Phones 4u online and
via Phones 4u telesales by May 2012. We will also be supporting JUMP
as part of a wider multi-million pound ATL Phones 4u campaign this
year.

Alistair Firth, Director of Customer Development at Phones 4u said:
"Technology is moving fast and innovative handsets are launching all
the time on the market but to date there's been a disconnect between
the frequency of smartphone releases and the length of mobile phone
contracts on offer.We want to give our customers the freedom to own
the very latest smartphones like the iPhone 4S without having to wait
18-24 months for an upgrade. The idea for JUMP was born out of
research we conducted that revealed people were frustrated by the
inability to upgrade their handsets sooner".

JUMP's unique proposition is that instead of offering one contract to
customers with a mobile network, it's been broken down into two; one
with the airtime provider for minutes, texts and data and one with
Phones 4u for the handset, which are both for a minimum term of 24
months. This provides the customer with total ownership of the handset
and their monthly pay plan. When customers choose to upgrade, there is
no upfront fee involved – they can trade in the handset, which Phones
4u guarantees will be worth at least £100 for the first 12 months[1],
along with up to two more, and create a new plan. Alternatively, they
do have the option of keeping it for themselves or giving it to
someone else.

"We conducted extensive research prior to the trial and national
roll-out to inform the JUMP model and ensure it truly met consumer
needs", adds Firth. "We discovered 18-35 year olds don't want to
return a handset on a leasing model. This is because they are used to
keeping handsets as part of their mobile phone contract, they hold
concerns over losing data or voiding the warranty if they customize
the phone, and worry about paying a surcharge if the phone is damaged.
We used these findings to help shape the JUMP offering and believe it
offers the best flexibility and benefits of any deal currently
available on the market".

As part of the JUMP service, Phones 4u is also offering remote data
back-up and storage for contacts, music, pictures and videos, as well
as dedicated customer support accessible via a dedicated number and
website. Phones 4u aims to attract new customers with the JUMP
offering, who want the option to own the latest smartphones when they
want, at an affordable monthly cost, and which offers additional
services currently not available as part of other smartphone
contracts.

Example plans to upgrade to the new iPhone 4S on JUMP

A customer could take out a standard contract for a non-iPhone device on a £35 a month tariff. Alternatively they could purchase it on JUMP for £37.99 on a 24 month agreement

Today on JUMP £37.99

Split as
Airtime commitment with Orange £15.00
JUMP service agreement 24months £22.99

Move to iPhone 4s after 6 months

Balance outstanding on JUMP
= 18months @ £22.99 £413.82
Trade in value of handset* £175.00
(You can trade in up to 2 more additional handsets to increase your total trade-in value and reduce your remaining balance further)

Balance remaining £238.82

Split over new JUMP contract (per month) £9.95
(No need to pay upfront)

Monthly cost of iPhone 4s on JUMP service agreement £28.49
+ £9.95 over 24months

Total new JUMP cost £38.44

Plus airtime (dependent on airtime package chosen) £20.00

New monthly commitment £58.44

Move to iPhone 4s after 12 months

Balance outstanding on JUMP
= 12months @ £22.99 £275.88
Trade in value of handset* £150.00
(You can trade in up to 2 more additional handsets to increase your total trade-in value and reduce your remaining balance further)

Balance remaining £125.88

Split over new JUMP contract (per month) £5.25
(No need to pay upfront)

Monthly cost of iPhone 4s on JUMP service agreement £28.49
+ £5.25 over 24months

Total new JUMP cost £33.74

Plus airtime (dependent on airtime package chosen) £20.00

New monthly commitment £53.74