AT&T ups early upgrade fees, non-iPhone prices

“AT&T in a very low-profile move has raised early and exception upgrade pricing for iPhones and other smartphones,” Electronista reports.

“A notice to store staff has warned that, as of Sunday, users are paying $50 more,” Electronista reports. “The move would change the premature upgrade price from $249 for an iPhone 3GS to $299, and up to $449 or $549 for an iPhone 4 before normal eligibility comes up.”

Electronista reports, “A separate memo both confirms the price hikes and showed across-the-board pricing increases. With the exception of the iPhone, pricing will go up sharply for anyone buying a phone contract-free or a shoretened one-year contract. Those without a contract will pay at least $50 more, AndroidCentral saw, while one-year buyers will spend a large $150 more.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

14 Comments

  1. They are raising prices before the T Mobile merger completes.

    So I should expect to pay even more when my T Mobile account becomes an AT&T account.

    This seems like a good time for me to investigate the possibility of switching to a totally Internet based cell phone solution, with Google Voice or something like that.

    1. It says “premature upgrade.” That means it’s the price for the phone if you are still under contract. If you are contract-free, you can get one for $49 with a 2-year contract.

  2. AT&T Wireless made billions in profits last year. This increase in pricing isn’t a “because we need to” move, it’s a “because we can” move. And it’s proof that 4 mobile carriers isn’t enough to provide price competion in the U.S. marketplace, and cetainly only having 3 carriers will be even worse for the consumer.

  3. Gotta live that ‘free market’ capitalism that reigns in America, Inc.
    The Spam Economics rules:
    A few get steak, a few more get Spam and most just get to hear the sizzle.
    Cue the acolytes of Ayn Rand in 3,2,1…

  4. AT&T has usually allowed iPhone users to upgrade to the new model without penalty (I think they did not allow that for 3G to 3G-S). I’m hopeful they will do the same for iPhone 5 when it is released. If not, I will wait out my AT&T contract then switch to Verizon.

  5. AT&T let people upgrade the MAIN phone on their account prematurely for $19. I upgraded to the phone 4 with a year left on the contract and they charged $19. There are 3 different things going on here though: premature upgrading if not the main phone, purchasing with a new 2 year contract and upgrading after the 2 year contract is up. Each one has different rules.

  6. RDF: at least AT&T can’t make you buy an iPhone at the barrel of a gun like the government can make you do… Whatever they want… Like pay taxes or buy health insurance. That’s the difference between market and government : they can’t *make* you do anything at the barrel of a government gun in your face.

    1. That’s the difference between market and government : they can’t *make* you do anything at the barrel of a government gun in your face.

      Really? What about those in the market who are using the government and their guns by proxy?

      You need to stop basking in the glow of the market’s RDF. Who do you think owns the government? The people? heh, heh, heh.

  7. A question and a comment.

    Q: does “MAIN” phone mean that you have no other phones so this is your only one?

    Comment: Why can’t handset makers rebel? Of why didn’t Apple buy T-Mobile USA to start some real fun – the (usually big) disincentive to buy new models when they come out? There’s simply nothing like it in any consumer business I know.

    Example: Whenever iPhone 5 appears, most existing customers will be under contract with a price penalty for “premature” upgrading. I’m in a very-annoyed class, “close but no cigar”, unless the thing is available before early July when my contract goes away. Choice – upgrade to iPhone 4 then wait two years, or get a cheap pas-as-you-go phone and go back to ATT when the iPhone 5 ships?

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