Verizon subscribers, we hope your device habits don’t revolve too closely around that 20-month upgrade cycle: it’s about to get longer. Big Red has confirmed that upgrade eligibility will now start only after the two-year contract is up. Those who have an existing contract that expires in January 2014 or later will have to wait four more months before they can get hardware at a discounted rate. Ostensibly, the shift is to let customers count on a lone upgrade date for all of their connected devices, but let’s not beat around the bush: the longer intervals are bad for any subscriber whose desire for a new phone or tablet doesn’t perfectly dovetail with their contract length.
There are a few other changes afoot. Those on multi-line accounts can still share their upgrades as long as it’s within the same device category, but they won’t have the option to transfer a hotspot or tablet upgrade. It won’t be as easy to upgrade to that Galaxy Note 10.1, unfortunately. Likewise, anyone who’s been hoarding New Every Two upgrades since the program ended in 2011 may want to use them this weekend — the credits expire on April 15th. While these last two changes won’t affect as many of us, they reinforce the notion that Verizon would really prefer that we hold on to the gear we’ve got.