AT&T plans to stop offering two-year phone contracts next month, reports Engadget. The outlet on Wednesday published an internal document that says the carrier will launch a “pricing simplification effort” on January 8 that will effectively get rid of contracts.
According to the document, starting on the 8th, AT&T Next and full-retail will become the only purchase options for smartphones. Folks looking to buy a flip, or “basic,” phone from the carrier will also have to choose between paying full-retail or an installment plan.
To be clear, AT&T says the changes are for “Individual Responsibility Users,” so it’s likely it will continue to offer multi-year contracts for corporate accounts. The note also doesn’t say anything about devices like tablets or wearables, which are currently subsidized.
If this all holds true, the move won’t be surprising. Carriers have long been trying to push customers away from the contract/subsidy model, and towards monthly installment plans (Jump, etc.), which are less complex and require less up-front capital from providers.
AT&T is also expected to raise the price on grandfathered unlimited data plans in February.