AT&T has updated its early upgrade and no-commitment pricing for smartphones by as much as $150, according to reports. Off-contract early upgrades for devices like the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, Android and Windows Phone 7 devices have increased $50.
Customers who opt to sign a one-year agreement rather than the standard two-year agreement will now pay $150 more for their non-iPhone smartphone devices and $10 more for feature phones. Historically, AT&T has allowed iPhone owners to upgrade at the new customer rate every 12 months, provided the customer signs another two-year agreement. This policy appears unchanged.
The news was first reported last Friday by Android Central and confirmed by BGR Monday.
An AT&T spokesperson told BGR,
“Only customers who are not yet upgrade eligible or who do not want to sign a contract are impacted. As mobile devices become more sophisticated, their cost goes up. This change reflects the increased costs, while still allowing us to offer customers the latest device before they qualify. We’re happy to discuss individual account and upgrade needs one-on-one with customers.”
Most iPhone users are eligible for special upgrade pricing (the same price as buying a phone as a new customer, provided they sign a new two-year agreement) between 12 and 18 months into their contract. Non-iPhone smartphone upgrade cycles can be longer, between 18 and 21 months, depending on the rate of the primary line plan.
That policy won’t change. Instead, users who opt to upgrade before the 12- or 18-month mark or who want to sign a one-year rather than two year contract, will now pay more.