While AT&T’s Next and Verizon’s Edge upgrade plans look similar on paper when comparing pricing, upgrade timing, and smartphone devices, AT&T gets the ‘edge’ on Verizon when it comes to tablets. Why? Because Verizon’s Edge upgrade option does not include tablets.

This gives AT&T an advantage in acquiring customers who want to get a tablet, but don’t want to fork over $629 for an iPad with Retina display. If a customer qualifies, he or she can walk out of an AT&T store with a brand new 16GB iPad and wireless service for the price of month’s installment ($31.20) plus taxes and wireless service fees. That’s a heck of a good program if you ask me.

We don’t know why Verizon won’t allow tablets in their Edge plan. But if you want to learn more about how the two plans stack up in terms of upgrade time, down payments, contracts and fees, you can read this recent Next vs. Edge comparison article.

Both AT&T’s Next and Verizon’s Edge upgrade plans are new to the wireless market. T-Mobile was actually the frontrunner in offering what is still the quickest upgrade options at twice per year after the first 6 months. When Verizon first starting promoting their Edge plan, it looked like all devices would be eligible. But upon launch just this week, we learned that tablets and hotspots are not eligible at this time.

AT&T has various tablets to choose from depending on your zip code. It appears iPads are available in most markets, but they’ve also got Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 and Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 models, the Lenovo IdeaTab A2107, and the ASUS VivoTab RT. To see for yourself which tablets are eligible for the Next plan in your area just go to ATT.com, click on Wireless, Add a Device, then click the AT&T Next “Show eligible devices” option. You could also go to a local store to see which tablets they have in stock.

Jeff Chabot

Jeff Chabot has a background in web development and design, as well as working in broadcast television as a studio engineer, lighting director and editor. He frequently writes about technology, broadcasting, digital entertainment, and the internet.