Verizon offers pricey way to upgrade earlyVerizon becomes the latest carrier to offer an early upgrade plan, Netflix makes Emmy history, and the HTC One shrinks to a Mini version.
Carriers are testing the waters to see if you'll pay for full-price phones. I'm Bridget Carey and this is your CNET Update. Verizon is the latest carrier to jump into the early upgrade game with a newly announced Edge plan. Basically, if you pay more for that smartphone, you can upgrade it early. Now, there are some slight technical differences between this and the AT&T Next plan, but the bottom line is that you are really not getting a good deal with either of these methods. They just sound cool because everyone wants the latest phones. If you want to save money, you are still better off sticking with the two-year contract than just reselling the phone on eBay or Gazelle. Now, if you're someone who just has to upgrade every year, well, you have to pay the full price of the phone which is like $600 or $700. And this Verizon Edge plan and the AT&T Next plan, well, they take the sting out of that big one-time fee by splitting it up over monthly payments. That's all this is. Also, if you go with one of these early upgrade plans, you better upgrade after a year or you are losing money and essentially paying twice for the phone and that's because carriers work in the high price of these phones into your monthly service bill. So, you didn't really just pay $200 for that new phone, you're kind of paying for it in the long run. They just pull that into your service plan. T-Mobile has its own version of this, but it's a different model to compare because T-Mobile has a much lower service charge and its early upgrade program also works like an insurance policy. Netflix made television history as the first streaming service to get Emmy nominations for its exclusive shows, including House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey, the comedy Arrested Development, and the horror thriller Hemlock Grove. Netflix shows snag 14 nominations in total and time will tell if that gets more people interested in signing up for the monthly service. Back in 2008, the Emmy rules changed to make the Internet an eligible platform to qualify for an Emmy nomination. It seems everyone wants a mini version of their phone these days. HTC just announced the HTC One Mini, but with a 4.3-inch screen, it's only mini compared to the monster-sized screens we have today. It will be out in August, but we have an early look now on CNET. And before we end, a quick correction. In the previous show, I mentioned the instant messaging app, WhatsApp, could be used on the iPod Touch, but in fact, the only iOS device it works on is an iPhone. Sorry about that confusion. But if you're looking for a multi- platform chatting app that works on the iPod Touch, check out WeChat, KakaoTalk, Line, or you can use the social networking hybrid app such as Path. That's your tech news update. You can find more details at CNET.com/Update and follow along on Twitter. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey.