Are you jumping on the device financing bandwagon?Evan Selleck - Contributing Editor
Admitting that you switch phones constantly is the first step. It also makes it easier to manage the recurring situation, too. If you're anything like me and pay attention to the release date of a phone just as much as anything else, then it can get pretty daunting for selection depending on the time of the year. Usually, in the early part of a year, there are a lot of announcements but not a lot of releases, so it's not that bad. However, right around the middle of the year, things tend to get a bit . . . congested.
Getting those phones, getting all the phones could only be done up until recently by dropping a huge chunk of change on each device. Add to the fact that a lot of people love to be an early adopter, like me, then getting phones can really start to stack up. And so can the price tags.
It's the nature of the beast, though.
It's been like that for so long, thanks to the fact that our major (and a few minor) wireless carriers have banked so long on lengthy contracts and subsidies. There's nothing wrong with that, I guess, because that's just the way it was and American shoppers have been forced to get used to it. A lot of people hate paying full price for a phone, simply because they're so expensive, so getting that steep discount right off the bat makes that two-year contract worth it to most.
It's that steep discount right off the bat that makes those changes the carriers have made, like T-Mobile's JUMP! plan or AT&T's Next plan, so appealing to the general consumer. Even if they may be ways for the carriers to retain more money in the end, they look great to a consumer because you don't have to pay much at first, and you can spread out the cost of a device over several months, all the while working towards upgrading faster than ever before.
It's still not as good as buying a device at full retail cost, which allows you to upgrade whenever you want, but dealing with that hefty price tag can limit the possibilities for a lot of consumers. Which is why it's no surprise that carriers like Cricket and MetroPCS, or even Virgin Mobile and C Spire Wireless have all considered their own financing plans for devices to help subscribers pay as little as they can up front, and stretch out payments.
Hearing about financing plans from carriers isn't all that surprising or shocking, though. After all, they want folks to by phones, so changing the way they do business (without really changing the way they do business) is just a small price to pay to make sure that people keep coming back and paying their monthly dues.
I wasn't expecting to see it from a manufacturer, though.
Motorola yesterday announced what they are calling their Motorola Credit Account, which is a shiny wrapper on a new financing ability straight from the Google Company. Just like any other financing deal, you'll have to go to Motorola's website specifically created for the new financing deal, apply, and cross your fingers that you get approved. If you are, and Motorola says "many" are approved instantly, then you'll be able to pick up a new device -- like the Moto X -- for zero money down and zero interest for a select amount of months.
If you can pay off the device in 6, twelve or eighteen months, determined by the final price of your device, then you'll avoid the hefty interest increase to 28.99 percent. Not surprising at all. It is surprising that Motorola themselves are jumping on this bandwagon, but it's a good idea for the company. Hopefully it means that more people will try out the Moto X.
But it ultimately only matters if the consumers appreciate it, like it, and actually take advantage of it. So, here's where you get to chime in. I want to know what you think of Motorola's new financing option. Do you think it's a good idea, or something that they should have stayed away from? Do you think other companies, like HTC, should take advantage of something like this? Let me know what you think.