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  • Apple Stores May Not Be Able to Sell iPhones on a Two Year Contract Due to AT&T Policy


    A recent report from Droid-Life is claiming that mobile carrier AT&T will be making major changes to its smartphone selling. One of the changes will be restricting third-party retailers (including Apple) from selling two-year contact terms for handsets. This means that all AT&T customers will only be allowed to purchase smartphones using the company’s Next installment program or by paying full retail prices. The Verge reported that AT&T will be making this change by the end of the month.

    We’re not sure how true this report is but according to FierceWireless, an internal document from Walmart confirmed this report. The document also noted that the plan will take place starting May 28th across Walmart retail stores, which is this Thursday. This means that all Walmart locations will no longer offer two-year contacts with subsidized smartphones. When AT&T was asked about the matter, a spokesperson declined to comment on any of it. We’re sure the mobile company will be giving an announcement on this major change, as it will affect many customers.

    If this happens, will you stick around with AT&T or will you be changing to a different carrier? Comment on the section below and share what your plans will be.

    Source: Droid-Life, The Verge, FierceWireless
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Stores May Not Be Able to Sell iPhones on a Two Year Contract Due to AT&T Policy started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 21 Comments
    1. Carvensno's Avatar
      Carvensno -
      I can understand Walmart and other retail stores that don't sell enough to make it matter, But APPLE also? I don't see that happening and that will hurt ATT more than help them.
    1. Sniper488's Avatar
      Sniper488 -
      This is exactly what BestBuy told me when I went to help my sister buy a new iPhone that its all going to the Next program...
    1. J9DeeZy's Avatar
      J9DeeZy -
      It's a complete joke. I have AT&T love their service. But now if I upgrade my phone with them they are upping the price of my line to the point where after 2 years I will have paid $600+ more than I do now. IPhone 6+ 128gb for $400 plus this outlandish $600 increase. I will definitely be buying my next iPhone unlocked on eBay (the iPhone I described you can snatch up for around $800, unlocked.) it's cheaper than anywhere else (relatively) and won't incur the insane price increase that is what AT&T is all about. Most people will probably bail for a new carrier, hell, sprint is starting to almost look good now
    1. hogcia's Avatar
      hogcia -
      So glad I switched to t mobile last month. Was a happy At&t customer for 10+ years, but the bill just kept going up and up. Just paid my t mobile bill ($135) for 4 lines. And service is great with "true" unlimited data!
    1. Carvensno's Avatar
      Carvensno -
      Are you talking about the Next program? If so? That's why you trade in. I'm doing the 12 month Next, so the beginning of Sept I make the 12 payment so then I can pre-order the new iPhone.
    1. AKCHRIS's Avatar
      AKCHRIS -
      If At&t Does this...I'm swapping...because now their doing this just for Money, I live in Alaska, and the only OTHER carrier BESIDES At&t is Verizon...This would be a HUGE Mistake on At&t if they Cut out Even Apple.
    1. Assassination's Avatar
      Assassination -
      Why do you hate us at&t ????
    1. holyshnikes's Avatar
      holyshnikes -
      I have a feeling that all carriers are going to do this...AT&T is just the first. They usually all follow each other.
    1. Dranon's Avatar
      Dranon -
      You know when you do the 2 year contract thing with ATT you are paying more per month for the contract because they are subsidizing your phone right? I actually pay LESS per month on the next program because I do not have my phones subsidized.

      ALSO they are all going to go this route because they CAN offer cheaper monthly plans this way and we can all decide who really is the cheapest and bring our own handsets or keep them longer after they are paid for with out the monthly subsidy.
    1. buggsy2's Avatar
      buggsy2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dranon View Post
      You know when you do the 2 year contract thing with ATT you are paying more per month for the contract because they are subsidizing your phone right? I actually pay LESS per month on the next program because I do not have my phones subsidized.
      Could you explain this? I have ATT, will get two new iPhones in the Fall, and if just using ATT's upgrade path is more expensive I'd like to try something else. As an old fogey I don't keep up on all the tricks.
    1. rolandgabor's Avatar
      rolandgabor -
      Quote Originally Posted by buggsy2 View Post
      Could you explain this? I have ATT, will get two new iPhones in the Fall, and if just using ATT's upgrade path is more expensive I'd like to try something else. As an old fogey I don't keep up on all the tricks.
      What? I think you're not understanding what you're paying for. You don't have you're phone subsidized? You're paying full retail for the phone in two years on the next plan.
    1. rolandgabor's Avatar
      rolandgabor -
      Quote Originally Posted by AKCHRIS View Post
      If At&t Does this...I'm swapping...because now their doing this just for Money, I live in Alaska, and the only OTHER carrier BESIDES At&t is Verizon...This would be a HUGE Mistake on At&t if they Cut out Even Apple.
      They're doing this just for money? What else is there?
    1. bigboyz's Avatar
      bigboyz -
      Doesn't this mean you lose your "grandfathered" unlimited data plan as well? If so, this is the point. If not, this is the point ;]
    1. Sniper488's Avatar
      Sniper488 -
      Yes you will lose it...
    1. Carvensno's Avatar
      Carvensno -
      Going from a 2 yr contract to the Next plan will NOT cause you to lose your "Grandfathered Unlimited Data Plan" I did it last year with my iPhone6+ no issues at all. I'm doing the 12 month Next plan myself right now and plan on trading in my iPhone 6+ when the new one is launch for pre-order.
    1. NewD's Avatar
      NewD -
      Carvensno is right. Moving to NEXT won't cancel out the Grandfathered Unlimited.

      But I hate NEXT, the idea of having to pay for your phone monthly. I always get my new phone with Christmas or birthday $ all in one clump.. Then I'm just paying for service monthly. And my wife's and my renewal date for full subsidized pricing is exactly 1 year apart.. She never wants a new phone - so I always have a full subsidy upgrade available to me when each new phone comes out.

      And the jury's out for me on whether you spend less on NEXT in the long run compared to 2yr contract. I've seen two guys on here prove "both" sides of the argument. Ugh.

      I also wanna OWN my phone so I can sell it.. Don't wanna just "lease it" and have to turn it back in if I want a new phone that next year.. Nor do I have the $ for full retail up front. 2yr contract was the perfect scenario for me.. So frustrated with this news... If it's true..
    1. Carvensno's Avatar
      Carvensno -
      Quote Originally Posted by NewD View Post
      Carvensno is right. Moving to NEXT won't cancel out the Grandfathered Unlimited.

      But I hate NEXT, the idea of having to pay for your phone monthly. I always get my new phone with Christmas or birthday $ all in one clump.. Then I'm just paying for service monthly. And my wife's and my renewal date for full subsidized pricing is exactly 1 year apart.. She never wants a new phone - so I always have a full subsidy upgrade available to me when each new phone comes out.

      And the jury's out for me on whether you spend less on NEXT in the long run compared to 2yr contract. I've seen two guys on here prove "both" sides of the argument. Ugh.

      I also wanna OWN my phone so I can sell it.. Don't wanna just "lease it" and have to turn it back in if I want a new phone that next year.. Nor do I have the $ for full retail up front. 2yr contract was the perfect scenario for me.. So frustrated with this news... If it's true..
      Thanks! Ya, well I decided to try the Next program with the iPhone6+ and see how it was. My mom did it with her 1st smartphone(iPhone5s) and it went smooth for her . Plus no upgrade fee and only have to pay retail tax up front, plus you just trade it in when you get the new in. So yes I am just leasing my phone LOL, but I figured too it saves me from having to sell it on e-bay or to whoever and risking what I may get for it. Though I do keep my phone in like new condition with the box and everything in it also. But It was nice for my mom to just have to hand over the 5s when she got her 6+ no questions asked, plus all they wanted was the phone nothing else. So she got to keep the cable and wall charger and of course the ear buds.

      You're right though NewD about the monthly payment added on each month, but yes it's a trade off of paying up front or paying over 12 months. What I did though is just take that money you're planning on buying the phone with and save and use it each month for the phone payment. LOL :P
    1. Sniper488's Avatar
      Sniper488 -
      I stand corrected...
    1. WHUDS's Avatar
      WHUDS -
      hmm the next program charges less than the 2 year contract price, I know I did the math last upgrade. also next price is the retail price divided up over 12 or 24 months no interest. what's wrong with that?

      newD your paying more for the service with 2 year contract, it's been a game to AT&T and with upgrades like this overall they have people pay more but it's not working as well with ETF fees and going after people, I said a long time ago, AT&T does not want to be in the hardware business but in the wireless business
    1. jco's Avatar
      jco -
      Well, this just ruined my plans of waiting till the 6S to upgrade.