AT&T killing off two-year phone contracts on January 8th

“Just like the Emperor wiping away the last vestiges of the Republic, AT&T is doing away with its remaining two-year contract options for cell phones,” Jeff Gamet reports for The Mac Observer. “The company has been making a push away from two-year contracts and subsidized device prices for smartphones, and come 2016 that’ll apply to the rest of its phone lineup and text messaging devices, too.”

“The big change is supposed to go into effect on January 8, according to internal documents obtained by Engadget,” Gamet reports. “Along with the end of two-year lock-in contracts, customers won’t have an option for subsidized phone prices and will instead have to pay full price up front, or spread out their device payments as installments.”

Gamet reports, “AT&T hasn’t officially announced the contract policy change, but it’s a safe bet we’ll see that in the next few days.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Good riddance!


  1. ATT is abandoning it’s home phone business. Others like Vontage are eating their lunch in the home phone business. Their DSL and Broadband business is in limbo. They don’t like spending money, just taking money form their customers for doing nothing. They are focusing on mobile and satellite. In 2016 they are coming out with 4K satellite.

    Apple needs to approach ATT and purchase their broadband business.

      1. ATT wants all to move over to VIOP. Problem is they want to charge the same money as if were copper, about $45-$55 a month. Others are charging $10 to $20 a month. They could have easily retained this market by being competitive, but greed won out and customers are leaving. So other companies are having their lunch and dinner at ATT’s expense.

        ATT hates wires. That’s why they love mobile which the market is now saturated and satellite TV.

    1. AT&T is descendant from Southwestern Bell Communications DBA AT&T after they bought the AT&T long distance company. In between, they bought up former Baby Bells Ameritech, PacTel and Bell South. All parts of the old AT&T (Ma Bell).

      That left them with a large legacy copper wire business that is mostly unionized by CWA. The wireless business was purchased and is non-union. By killing the copper wire/DSL business they shed lots of high wage Union workers.

      AT&T is using the old copper rights of way for U-Verse Digital Cable service in densely populated higher income areas. The rest of the old AT&T copper network is being sold off piecemeal to smaller companies like CenturyTel.

      Verizon- created from Baby Bells Bell Atlantic and NYNex plus GTE Telephone is doing the same thing- abandoning or selling off as much of the legacy copper wire network as possible.

      The AT&T Broadband business is a dinosaur and carries more problems than opportunities.

    1. Payments don’t change after a contract is over – mine has stayed at about $78 a month for the past 7 years no matter how I bought a new iPhone every year. The reason for staying loyal to ATT is the grandfathered unlimited data service. I continue to pay for 450 monthly roll over minutes to keep the unlimited data. But I never use any of my phone minutes because I use the magicJack app for all
      My phone calls for FREE over wifi or the unlimited cell data.

  2. I don’t know why things are so backwards in the U.S., but in Europe I pay about $30 every 3-4 months to my pay-as-you-go SIM on my unlocked iPhone. This covers all of the data and talk I could ever need, no contracts, no extra fees.

    1. I just switched all six of my family lines from AT&T to Sprint. We went from $100/10GB and $15/mo/line to $50/15GB and $7.50/mo/line. Plus we turned in old iPhone 4, 4S, 5C, 6 and 6S to get all new 6S. The 6 and 6S on AT&T weren’t paid for yet so Sprint is paying them off for us. And whenever the iPhone 7, 8, 9, etc. come out, we can turn in the 6S models for the new ones.

    1. If you run the numbers, the an unsubsidized phone doesn’t save you much over a subsidized one in the long term; the Total Cost of Ownership of subsidized and unsubsidized phones is virtually the same.

  3. I see now. This kills off the Original Grandfathered and Subsidized customer (LIKE ME) from their account. No more Subsidy. No more AT&T for me after my contract runs out. Moving everyone to T-Mobile as soon as possible. I’m from Cingular to AT&T days…thats almost 18 years. Goodbye can’t come sooner enough.

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