Can Verizon and AT&T Piggyback on T-Mobile's Upgrades?

"Un-carrier" T-Mobile  (NYSE: TMUS  ) has kicked off a war with upgrade policies, and Verizon  (NYSE: VZ  ) Wireless and AT&T  (NYSE: T  ) have now responded in kind with new upgrade programs of their own. Carriers are now encouraging consumers to upgrade smartphones more often, a stark contrast to how they've behaved historically. The key reason is that it's because they're not paying for those upgrades anymore through these new programs.

Big Red and Ma Bell, in particular, still charge higher service prices and just want consumers to pay full retail cost, even if that price is spread out through a financing program. T-Mobile, on the other hand, is transparently separating the device cost from the service cost.

In the following video, Fool contributor Evan Niu, CFA, and Eric Bleeker, CFA, discuss how some of these new carrier upgrade policies aren't so good for consumers.

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