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You may already be familiar with AT&T's Next installment plans. Typically, when a smartphone or tablet is announced, we'll discuss the two-year contract pricing, off-contract pricing, and two installment plan options, AT&T Next 12 and AT&T Next 18. Those plans allow you to split up the cost of a smartphone across 20 months or 24 months, respectively, typically after paying $0 down at the time of purchase.

Now, on Tuesday, AT&T introduced a new AT&T Next 24 installment plan. It allows you to split the cost of a device across 30 equal monthly payments.

The good news, of course, is since you're spreading the cost of a device over a longer period of time, the monthly payments are going to be lower than they would be on a Next 12 or Next 18 plan. Also, like those other plans, after you've finished paying 24 of the 30 total installments, you'll be eligible to upgrade your smartphone to a new device providing that your existing phone is in good condition for a trade-in. AT&T said, starting today, any customers who move over to an AT&T Next plan will also receive a $150 bill credit.

These AT&T Next options allow you to pay for an expensive device over a longer period of time and upgrade at the end of a your cycle, either 12, 18 or 24 months, ahead of when the device is actually paid off. Or, when your payments are finished, you can keep your phone, sell it or trade it in. AT&T offers other benefits, too, such as decreased rates on adding AT&T Next lines to Mobile Share Value plans, which can save you up to $25 per month on 10GB or higher plans.