With Jump, T-Mobile will offer twice-yearly upgrades (but there's a catch)

The Jump program, which launches this month, is intended to appeal to T-Mobile customers that want to frequently update their smartphones. 

By , Correspondent

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    A T-Mobile store in Los Angeles.
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T-Mobile will soon allow users to upgrade their phones up to twice a year in exchange for a $10 monthly charge, the carrier announced today. 

The program, dubbed Jump, is a first for the US smartphone market, where carriers have traditionally insisted that consumers pay hefty prices to purchase a new device before their two-year contract is out. T-Mobile, for its part, is framing Jump as a way for tech geeks and smartphone aficionados to get the latest gear without forking over a barrel of cash. 

"At some point, big wireless companies made a decision for you that you should have to wait two years to get a new phone for a fair price. That's 730 days of waiting. 730 days of watching new phones come out that you can't have. Or having to live with a cracked screen or an outdated camera," T-Mobile US CEO John Legere said today in a press statement. "We say two years is just too long to wait."

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Couple things to note here. First is that you won't be able to upgrade until six months after enrollment – in other words, you can't sign up for Jump, wait a couple weeks, and trade in your old phone for a new one. Second: 10 bucks a month isn't exorbitant, but over time, all those ten dollar fees will add up. (Assuming you've got a two-year contract, you're looking at $240 extra.) 

So Jump isn't going to be a particularly good bargain for folks that reliably buy a new iPhone every two years. But it's going to be a great option for curious, impatient smartphone users that want to cycle, say, from one new Droid device to the next. 

Jump will be officially rolled out on July 14. 

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

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