AT&T starts forgiving contracts to lure customers to its Next upgrade plans

themis333:

I wonder how much T-mobile’s aggressive strategy had to do with this…

Originally posted on Gigaom:

You would figure once AT&T(s t) has you locked down to a contract it would want to keep you there, but that turns not to be the case. Ma Bell said today said it would forgive the remainder of its customers’ contracts as long once they’re six months into their two-year commitments. The catch is they have to sign up for one AT&T’s Next upgrade plans.

Next was AT&T’s first foray into the world of unsubsidized pricing. Instead of paying a highly subsidized rate for a phone (say $200 for $650 smartphone) and locking yourself into a two-year contract, Next puts you on installment plan where you pay off the full-retail cost of the phone in installments. After 12 months, customers become eligible to upgrade their phones for a newer model. The remaining payments are forgiven, and you start making fresh payments on the new smartphone.

Many smartphones feature

When AT&T first launched…

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