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Upgrading current cell phone contract vs new contract

As my current cell phone contract is drawing to a close, I was contacted by Telkom to upgrade on a few occasions. 
At the time there was nothing in particular I fancied, so I kindly declined, but yesterday I noticed a device I liked.
Just to be on the safe side, I followed the normal channels and confirmed my contract was due for upgrade on 01 Nov 2017 and that the official end date is end of Jan.
"Great!", I thought and phoned Telkom for detail on what this might entail.
And to my dismay, I was informed that I can indeed get the new device right away, but that "upgrade" basically means "cancel current and start new".
To further my discomfort, I was informed that that would entail forfeiting all the minutes, data, etc. I have accumulated over the past few months. 
But wait, there's more, it also means that I would have to pay off the remainder of the contract in a single go for the new contract to take effect.

I guess my question is, "what are the benefits of upgrading compared to just taking out a new contractj?"
I would have figured the best way to retain customers would be to allow the user to get the new device now, then have them run the course of their current contract before starting the new contract for 24 months. 
That way, it constitutes an upgrade and you are more likely to retain currently clientel. 

As things stand now, I will rather wait out the term of my current contract and use up the accumulated data and minutes, while seeking for a special on the divice I desire. 
And should that special be at a different network provider, I will go there, because there are no benefits in brand loyalty and Telkom doesn't care if they lose customers through this bad business practice. 

Maybe I'm ignorant and if so would appreciate someone to enlighten my erroneous thinking. 

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