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  • Apple No Longer Selling AT&T iPhones on Subsidies


    Say it isn’t so; the day has come where Apple is no longer selling iPhones to AT&T customers on a two-year contract. This means that all AT&T iPhones will be moved exclusively to using the mobile company’s Next Program at Apple Retail Stores and Apple Online Stores. The Next financing plan will also begin this month, so all those using AT&T hoping to purchase their next iPhone on a subsidy will no longer be able to do so.

    For those who don’t know, the Next Program from AT&T allows customers to basically pay off their device in a 20, 24, or 30-month period. However, customers will also be able to upgrade to a new device at an earlier time after 12, 18, or 24 months. AT&T claims this is a better option for customers since not only do they not have to pay everything up front, but they will be able to switch to a new device earlier as opposed to having to wait.

    It was noted that Verizon is copying AT&T and will be dropping their 2-year contract program possibly as soon as the end of the summer. They have also made a major change where those who purchase an iPhone using the Edge program won’t be qualified for the Edge Up feature. This means that standard Edge program customers will no longer be able to upgrade their devices after 18 months and will have to wait 24 months instead.

    These are definitely some major changes and it seems like all mobile companies are now copying one another within days of each other.

    Source: AT&T, Verizon
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Stores No Longer Selling AT&T iPhones on Subsidies started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 43 Comments
    1. docmagoo2's Avatar
      docmagoo2 -
      Explain this to me as a European customer? Is there much of a price difference between a subsidised phone and a next phone over the course of the contract? Personally I purchase the phone outright and then have a rolling month by month contact in the UK. Works out about $31 monthly for 3GB 4G data and unlimited everything else. I'm currently using an iPhone 6 64GB which I got for £550.
    1. SpiderManAPV's Avatar
      SpiderManAPV -
      Quote Originally Posted by docmagoo2 View Post
      Explain this to me as a European customer? Is there much of a price difference between a subsidised phone and a next phone over the course of the contract? Personally I purchase the phone outright and then have a rolling month by month contact in the UK. Works out about $31 monthly for 3GB 4G data and unlimited everything else. I'm currently using an iPhone 6 64GB which I got for £550.
      In all honesty it’s just shifting the same numbers around in a different way so that it looks better to consumers. Prices are pretty similar regardless.
    1. sheltons.iphone's Avatar
      sheltons.iphone -
      I worked it out once and I would have paid about $100 more under a contract than the next plan.
    1. hogcia's Avatar
      hogcia -
      The problem with this is that your monthly bill looks bigger. My monthly bill is already big enough, don't need it any bigger. So glad I switched to T-Mobile, paying $126 total a month for 4 lines. Can't beat it and service is great.
    1. NewD's Avatar
      NewD -
      I just will hate having my monthly price go up.. It's a cash flow thing. I always get all my subsidized price $ upfront from Christmas $.. So I never pay a dime for my new phone.. On this plan I'll be essentially 'paying a rental price' for my phone monthly. Hate it.
    1. cptmooseinc's Avatar
      cptmooseinc -
      Both the subsidized phone and the "next" plans are ripoffs compared to buying a phone outright at full price. The problem is, Americans are TERRIBLE with saving money. Most live with less than $1000 a week in their bank accounts. So the phone companies have these subsidized plans or "next" plans as a form of credit.

      If you run all the numbers, between the cost of the plan and the phone, you would actually save about $600 over two years by buying a phone outright and using a month to month plan.
    1. NewD's Avatar
      NewD -
      This actually isn't quite true. I agree with you about Americans not saving money… But I've run the numbers recently and with the NEXT Plan, whether you spread it out over 12 or 20 months, The final price you pay for the phone is exactly the full retail price. They're not taking any additional profit over the full retail. Cell phone companies make most of their money on the service part of the fee structure.
    1. NewD's Avatar
      NewD -
      What's not clear and all this to me, that maybe one of you could clear up for me, is whether or not the idea of a two-year contract for service will still exist or not… I understand that the subsidized pricing for your phone with a two-year contract will end but will you still be locked into a contract "for service". Or are you free to leave AT&T at any time?
    1. TDH Advocate's Avatar
      TDH Advocate -
      Why would you force us to pay around 300$+ extra for our iPhone? Its like they are trying to hurt profit margins for Apple so droid will get sales again. Correct me if I'm wrong but it just seems moronic.
    1. NewD's Avatar
      NewD -
      Quote Originally Posted by TDH Advocate View Post
      Why would you force us to pay around 300$+ extra for our iPhone? Its like they are trying to hurt profit margins for Apple so droid will get sales again. Correct me if I'm wrong but it just seems moronic.
      It's not $300 more. Please tell me you understand that.
    1. Rakim's Avatar
      Rakim -
      Pricing Schmicing,, I don't like the idea of any change that essentially forces me out of my Grandfathered UNLIMITED EVERYTHING rate... I'm not 100% sure but If I'm correct a change over to the next plan will likely equate to a plan change and by default force me to choose a completely new and "updated" plan and by updated I mean new and more expensive plan.... I don't see AT&T missing an opportunity to get rid of our old timey plans once and for all..... Is anyone more informed than myself of this change as a whole able to elaborate on that Fact one way or another for me?
    1. Carvensno's Avatar
      Carvensno -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rakim View Post
      Pricing Schmicing,, I don't like the idea of any change that essentially forces me out of my Grandfathered UNLIMITED EVERYTHING rate... I'm not 100% sure but If I'm correct a change over to the next plan will likely equate to a plan change and by default force me to chose a completely new and "updated" plan and by updated I mean new and more expensive plan.... I don't see AT&T missing an opportunity to get rid of our old timey plans once and for all..... Is anyone more informed than myself of this change as a whole able to elaborate on that Fact one way or another for me?
      Your not being changed out of your phone and data plan. Its how you buy your iPhone now. When you upgrade your phone now, you just can't/won't be in a typical 2yr contract and usual. You'll have a choice between the Next plans they offer. Basically your leasing your phone lol plain and simple.

      When I got my 6+ last year. I did Next program and still had my grandfathered unlimited data and min plans as before. You won't lose that unless you choose to give it up.

      I'm doing the 12 month Next plan myself, sure I could keep it and pay it off in the long term if I want too, but why?, when I can trade it in after 12 months for the new model iPhone lol. Which is why I did the Next program this time around. Plus you don't have to pay the upgrade 38-40.00 fee. Only thing you pay up front is the retail tax. As far as the added payment every month? Take that money you would have use paying for it up front and still bank account and draw from it each month to make the extra payment on your phone bill lol. As said above, you're just shifting money around.
    1. Rakim's Avatar
      Rakim -
      Quote Originally Posted by Carvensno View Post
      Your not being changed out of your phone and data plan. Its how you buy your iPhone now. When you upgrade your phone now, you just can't/won't be in a typical 2yr contract and usual. You'll have a choice between the Next plans they offer. Basically your leasing your phone lol plain and simple.

      When I got my 6+ last year. I did Next program and still had my grandfathered unlimited data and min plans as before. You won't lose that unless you choose to give it up.

      I'm doing the 12 month Next plan myself, sure I could keep it and pay it off in the long term if I want too, but why?, when I can trade it in after 12 months for the new model iPhone lol. Which is why I did the Next program this time around. Plus you don't have to pay the upgrade 38-40.00 fee. Only thing you pay up front is the retail tax. As far as the added payment every month? Take that money you would have use paying for it up front and still bank account and draw from it each month to make the extra payment on your phone bill lol. As said above, you're just shifting money around.
      Sounds almost too good to be true.... I don't mind an early upgrade as saving the money is EXACTLY how Id do it to cushion the the added cost, but I'm still not sure I'll believe it until I see it, regarding them not using this arbitrary change re: this next plan as a way to by default phase out people like myself........
      ~Here's to hoping that's not the case~
    1. TDH Advocate's Avatar
      TDH Advocate -
      Quote Originally Posted by NewD View Post
      It's not $300 more. Please tell me you understand that.
      I did not. From how I understood the plan system you had to end up paying the full price of a device as if it was an off contact phone. So instead of 200$ for the cheapest iPhone it would be retail 600$. But like I said, correct me if I'm wrong because I don't know a lot about it.
    1. Silverado1987's Avatar
      Silverado1987 -
      I've thought about going to the next plan and money really isn't a big issue for me but I mainly want it so I can get a new phone every year. But att would jack my bill up as I don't want to lose my unlimited everything plan
    1. bigboyz's Avatar
      bigboyz -
      Sounds like instant up front $$ for the carrier. They always win the game. House always wins.
    1. Carvensno's Avatar
      Carvensno -
      Quote Originally Posted by Silverado1987 View Post
      I've thought about going to the next plan and money really isn't a big issue for me but I mainly want it so I can get a new phone every year. But att would jack my bill up as I don't want to lose my unlimited everything plan
      Your plan has nothing to do with how you buy the phone for the upgrade. As I said earlier in other post, you keep your min and data plans, I did the Next plan last year for the 6+ and still kept my grandfathered unlimited data and old min plans. Only difference is I'm making a phone payment each month in addition to the service payment, but I saved myself the upgrade fee and after 12 months I get to trade in my phone for the new one. Plus I don't have to worry about selling my old phone and wondering about what I'll get for it and shipping it. I was worried doing the Next program at first, but seeing my mom did it for her 5S and seeing how smoothly it went for trading it in and getting/pre-ordering the new one(6+) I did the Next plan this year.
    1. Carvensno's Avatar
      Carvensno -
      Quote Originally Posted by bigboyz View Post
      Sounds like instant up front $$ for the carrier. They always win the game. House always wins.
      Only money up front for the Next program is retail tax. If I remember right for my 128Gb 6+ was $123.00??
    1. Silverado1987's Avatar
      Silverado1987 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Carvensno View Post
      Your plan has nothing to do with how you buy the phone for the upgrade. As I said earlier in other post, you keep your min and data plans, I did the Next plan last year for the 6+ and still kept my grandfathered unlimited data and old min plans. Only difference is I'm making a phone payment each month in addition to the service payment, but I saved myself the upgrade fee and after 12 months I get to trade in my phone for the new one. Plus I don't have to worry about selling my old phone and wondering about what I'll get for it and shipping it. I was worried doing the Next program at first, but seeing my mom did it for her 5S and seeing how smoothly it went for trading it in and getting/pre-ordering the new one(6+) I did the Next plan this year.
      I'll definitely call them and ask them if I can keep my min and data plan. I've just heard people getting their crap all changed around but if that's false I'll def do it. I do understand its a phone payment added onto the data plan. Cool thanks
    1. Carvensno's Avatar
      Carvensno -
      Quote Originally Posted by Silverado1987 View Post
      I'll definitely call them and ask them if I can keep my min and data plan. I've just heard people getting their crap all changed around but if that's false I'll def do it. I do understand its a phone payment added onto the data plan. Cool thanks
      I think those people got taken advantage of by ATT store people and getting talked into something and fell for it.