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Verizon CFO doesn't think most people will sign up for Edge upgrade plan

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Verizon (STOCK)
Verizon (STOCK)

In comments following Verizon's earnings call this morning, CFO Fran Shammo noted that he didn't expect Edge — the early-upgrade plan that the carrier plans to deploy late next month — to have a significant impact on financials. In fact, he says he expects that most subscribers will avoid it, choosing to wait for a discounted handset upgrade every two years as they do with their existing plans. It's easy to understand why he might think that: it's a mathematically terrible deal that can only work out in the customer's favor if they religiously upgrade every six months, an unrealistic proposition considering that flagship devices are generally released on an annual cycle.

Shammo also noted that the company will "not touch" its plan pricing — an apparent nod to T-Mobile, which made headlines by switching to monthly payment plans for handsets last year that give subscribers a lower monthly plan price once they've paid off their hardware. With Verizon's Edge and AT&T's similar Next, customers effectively pay twice for the phone — monthly plan pricing includes both a return on subsidy and a fraction of the phone's full price, and they're still required to trade in the hardware to get an upgrade.