AT&T No Longer Offering 2-Year Contracts On iPhone Through Apple Online Store

att_applestoreAre you a current or future iPhone user who enjoys going right to the Apple Store to buy your new device when it’s time to upgrade? You’re going to have to go with Sprint or Verizon in the future if that’s the case: AT&T is no longer offering subsidized devices when you buy your phone through Apple.

AppleInsider reports that the option to buy a subsidized phone from AT&T has suddenly disappeared. This isn’t an sign that AT&T is thinking about getting rid of subsidies entirely, but carriers would rather we paid for our expensive smartphones ourselves. Of course, you’re welcome to visit an AT&T store or authorized retailer, or even to order your phone from the AT&T website.

If you insist on purchasing from the online Apple Store, though, your options are an unlocked phone for $649 up front, or using the carrier’s Next installment plan, where you pay the full retail price of the phone in interest-free installments over 12, 18, or 24 months. We don’t know yet whether this also applies to purchases from in-person Apple Stores.

AT&T clearly prefers this model to the subsidy: they offer discounts on service for Next customers. If you’re a customer dating back to when AT&T was the exclusive carrier for the iPhone and you’re used to paying $200-$300 every year for a new phone, you can still visit an AT&T store.


What Apple and AT&T aren’t emphasizing is the total cost of the phone: while the SIM-free and T-Mobile models have the full price right there, AT&T differentiates the prices by only telling you the amount of the monthly payment, not the total.

Apple Online Store stops offering iPhone with 2-year AT&T contract [AppleInsider]

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