Sorry Verizon iPhone Customers: “New Every Two” Ended, Early Upgrade Modified

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It’s not all good news for Verizon customers who are rejoicing now that the iPhone is going to be available. Although the big announcement about the Apple smartphone dominated the news, a much smaller – yet equally as important – change has almost slipped by. The service provider is ending its “New Every Two” program, which offers subscribers a $30 to $100 credit on a new phone every two years, on January 16 and will make their early upgrade option a lot more strict, company representatives told the Wall Street Journal. It’s a smart move for Verizon, especially with customers looking to trade-in their old phone for the iPhone. WSJ elaborates:

With the New Every Two perk, a longtime customer with a $100 credit could get the iPhone4 for $99.99 – half off its new-subscriber price of $199.99. When the program ends, new subscribers will no longer be eligible for those discounts. Existing customers will lose the perk when they renew their contracts (unless they renew before Jan. 16—but that date is well before iPhone orders will be taken). And with the end of the early upgrade program, customers who were previously eligible for discounted phones as early as 13 months into a two-year contract will now have to wait 20 months to get a new phone at the promotional new-customer price instead of retail (for the iPhone, that’s currently a difference of $400).

This also means that customers who sign up on release date will not be eligible for an upgrade until September 2012. Apple normally releases a new phone mid-year, so there’s going to be some waiting time. One good thing about the change of plans? Industry analysts say that Verizon entering the iPhone game means more competition, so you can expect good deals to come out in the near future.

More on TIME.com:

AT&T Cases Won’t Fit Verizon iPhone, But At Least There’s No Death Grip

How To Switch Your iPhone Service From AT&T To Verizon

Verizon iPad Also Coming, But Will We Have To Wait For iPad 2?

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