Contract

AT&T to stop offering two-year phone contracts next month

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.

Verizon tweaks ETF policy to make it more expensive to cancel

Heads up to anyone thinking about signing a new plan or equipment contract with Verizon in the near future, it just tweaked its early termination fee (ETF) policy. Spotted by DroidLife, the policy makes it more expensive to cancel your contract with the carrier during the first 8 months.

Previously, Verizon’s ETF with a 2-year contract would decline $10 for each month of the term you completed, so after 8 months your ETF would be 80$ cheaper. But under the new policy, until you complete the 8th month of service, you’d be stuck paying the full $350 ETF for canceling.

Verizon instituting $30 upgrade fee from April 22

Verizon Wireless, the nation’s biggest carrier, announced today that it will begin charging a $30 device upgrade fee beginning April 22. It will be applicable to existing customers purchasing new mobile equipment at a discounted price with a two-year contract.

With AT&T and Sprint having both been charging an upgrade fee for awhile now, today’s news means that now all major wireless operators in the United States are imposing a fee on customers upgrading to new devices.

iPhone 4S Purchased Off-Contract on AT&T is Already Unlocked

Although Apple has stated that it won’t sell the iPhone 4S unlocked until sometime in November, reports are showing that several people in the US have already obtained an unlocked iPhone 4S from the Apple Store.

One of those lucky individuals happens to be iOS developer Steven Troughton-Smith. Steven Troughton-Smith is also the developer behind the port of Siri to the iPhone 4 and iPad 2. We at iDownloadBlog have been able to purchase a retail iPhone 4S and use it on T-Mobile… 

AT&T Increasing Early Upgrade Pricing For iPhone?

If you’re a person that likes to upgrade to the newest iPhone each year, still having not completed the previous 2-year commitment you signed, AT&T offers an early upgrade price. That upgrade price is usually about double that of the full 2-year contract pricing for new customer/eligible ugprades.

The guys over at AndroidCentral seem to have obtained an internal AT&T document that shows early upgrade price increased for the iPhone by $50.

Get a Free iPhone 3GS at Best Buy Tomorrow (December 10th)

New to the iPhone arena? What better way to start out then by scoring a free iPhone 3GS from Best Buy on Friday, December 10th. That’s right free, zero, nada, ziltch.

That’s $99 dollars cheaper than the current going rate for the least expensive iPhone, and a pretty rare find for an Apple product. Check inside for the full scoop…

Get Your Pesos Ready, The iPhone 4 is Available in Mexico

Mexican mobile provider, Telcel, announces that the iPhone 4 is now available for purchase for our (US) neighbors of the South. Apple stores and Sansborns shops are the retailers that will carry the device.

Both the 16 and 32 GB have been released and are powered by a 3.5G HDSPA internet connection. 3 different plans have been released by Telcel for those wishing to own a piece of smartphone history…

AT&T Downplays Possible Loss Of Exclusivity

Following suit with the rumor mill, AT&T drops hints that the carrier exclusivity with the iPhone will be no more. What doesn’t match up with consumer opinion, is the companies confidence that it won’t be an issue. Apparently they know something we don’t, or they’re doing their best to save face amongst shareholders. I anticipate it’s not the former.

In a recent SEC filing, Wireless chief for AT&T Ralph de la Vega stated that around 80% of customers are locked into family or corporate plans. To switch the entire group, he says, would be a difficult task. Truthfully, he’s correct. Your family plan is (almost always) renewed when just one line upgrades its phone.

The document makes a point of avoiding any mention of the iPhone directly, however previous quarters’ said nothing about exclusivity. Many will say this could be evidence that Apple’s contract is up, or nearing the end. Factually the last mention of the contract was Apple, confirming the agreement to last until 2012. Various rumors of an iPhone coming to Verizon and T-Mobile, have been enough spark to this fiery debate.

Whether or not AT&T will admit the potential catastrophe of losing the deal, they have lined their ducks in a row, to make sure those who are current, stay that way. They recently upped their Early Termination Fee, from $175, to $325. Yea, they (nearly) doubled it.

What is horrendous for AT&T, is ultimately awesome for Apple. Widening their market will only put the full court press on its competitors. I do understand what AT&T is doing, really. They are doing the only thing they can do, which is attempt to ease inevitable concern. We cant’ expect them to come out and say, “Hey guys, we are so freaking screwed”. But the fact that they are saying something says something, don’t you think?