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AT&T advances upgrade dates ahead of iPhone 5

updated 11:50 am EDT, Sun September 4, 2011

ATT makes more eligible for iPhone 5 discounts

AT&T has quietly counteracted Verizon's early upgrade offers with some of its own, Electronista has learned. Multiple readers report having their discount eligibility being moved up, even if their monthly spending already steps up how soon they can get a lowered price. Some only report getting a partial discount instead of the full drop.

Such practices aren't uncommon for the carrier, which in the past few years has shifted upgrade dates at least slightly to get customers to buy during the frenzy of an iPhone launch. Last year, it gave early upgrades to all who would qualify in 2010. While AT&T wouldn't say why at the time, most recognized it as a virtual confirmation that the provider's iPhone exclusive expired in 2011 and that it was trying to catch as many iPhone buyers on new contracts or fresh devices as possible to discourage them from switching to Verizon.

The new extension, if official, is more likely just to give some more incentive to buy an AT&T iPhone 5 as soon as possible than to ride out the remaining length of the contract or pay what remains of the prorated early termination fee to switch to another carrier. Apple is expected to add Sprint to the mix in October and to launch the iPhone 5 on all three networks at or near the same time, giving AT&T strong motivation to provide better deals.

AT&T hasn't had an opportunity to comment on whether the upgrade plans are being stepped up, although it won't confirm any iPhone 5 release until Apple gives permission.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Tjp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    And sometimes the opposite

    I am on a family plan with two phones, and every year I get a new iPhone as the old one rotates into a pure test role as I develop apps. We have a very big bill each month. My upgrade normally is around 18 months into the 24. This time it was pushed at 15, and now is back to 20 as they adjusted it again. Of course if my line was the main line then it would be at 12 due to our monthly bill. And of course AT&T makes it near impossible to swap the numbers/lines roles. So in honor of AT&T I am buying an unlocked phone and using the H2O third party carrier (prepaid) plan and transferring my number. Even with the expected overage on data the prepaid $50 a month plan includes $20 of international calling allowance, unlimited text even internationally, unlimited domestic MMS and unlimited calling. And includes 250megabytes of other data usage allowance. And that is a real $49.95 recharge card, so no additional fees or taxes once the refill card is in your hands. no recovery fees, no extra tax layers, no extra federal / emergency fees, just $49.95 plus your local sales tax. And it runs on the AT&T network. So no difference in coverage. Sprint is a close challenger at 79.95 a month but they add on $20 or so in additional taxes and fees. These companies need to get real. the phone portion (including the darn near free for them SMS side) needs to be around $20 a month unlimited in the US ... And they are all backbone Internet providers, so data ought be very cheap. Like $20 a month being excessive for unlimited.
    Every time your cell company changes the contract structure "to save the consumer money" it is to make more money for the cell company. Look at the real costs. My ultra special low cost for a year at $12.99 a month Vonage service still bills 22 dollars a month when the fees and taxes are applied. They need to advertise a real cost, not a fairy tale they adjust with additional fees.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple MVNO?

    Maybe in a year or two, Apple could create their own MVNO. By then, all the major US carriers will have iPhone and they'll love it. Apple might have enough clout to say "We're going to let the iPhone pick the best carrier. If AT&T has the strongest signal where a user happens to be, it will use AT&T. If Sprint or Verizon or T-Mobile have a stronger, signal, it will pick one of them. Users pay us instead of any one carrier."

    Carriers would be forced to compete on call quality and data speed. They would be forced to actually provide value to their subscribers. What a f-ing concept.

  1. facebook_Eric

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Sep 2012



    Sorry for the multiple posts.

    Also, my 2 years is in November and I still am showing no upgrade offer until the day of and we spend almost $300 a month for our bill. They better move it up by the sell date.

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