It looks like AT&T is set to make some big changes in 2016. According to leaked internal documents, the U.S. carrier hopes to simplify its pricing through ending device subsidies and two-year contracts. The change is set to come into effect from Jan. 8, 2016, meaning we’ll hear more in-store in the near future.
Simplified purchase options
The news comes from Engadget, and indeed cites an internal AT&T training document which outlines the changes in full. In the document, the carrier explains that from Jan. 8, customers looking to purchase a device will only be able to do so either by paying the full price, or through instalments. Instalments will be paid using the already-established AT&T Next for smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone, though for basic devices, new plans will be devised and made available.
Just to be perfectly clear, this move applies to all of AT&T’s phones. Once the new year rolls around, even flip phones and non-smartphones with keyboards (what AT&T likes to call “Quick Messaging Devices”) must be bought outright or with an installment plan.
Though, as of this writing, at least, we’re unsure where tablets like the iPad stand, as well as the wearables AT&T sells. The publication also notes that multi-year plans will likely be kept “for large corporate accounts,” although this, too, has yet to be confirmed. For the general customer, however, it will not be possible to renew two-year contracts once they’ve expired.