“T-Mobile may have started the trend of making its customers pay for their own devices, but AT&T is running with it,” Roger Cheng reports for CNET.
“AT&T said 40 percent of its smartphone gross customer additions and upgrades went with its ‘Next’ monthly installment plan. In total, 1.1 million customers opted for ‘Next’ in the first quarter, the company said on Tuesday,” Cheng reports. “The plan makes for a subtle change in a person’s monthly bill, but the separation of the device cost from the service fee represents a shift in how the industry has long operated, and AT&T’s numbers suggest more consumers are beginning to understand the value of paying for their own device.”
Cheng reports, “Customers get more clarity on what they’re paying for, while AT&T no longer has to shoulder the burden of phone subsidies… In the fourth quarter, 15 percent of its customers moving to a smartphone opted to sign up for ‘Next.’ In the first quarter, it was 40 percent. AT&T said it sold 2.9 million smartphones through ‘Next’ in the quarter.”
Read more in the full article here.