In a move that is not too surprising AT&T will be ending its program of 2 year contracts and subsidized phones according to internal documents obtained by Engadget on January 8th 2016.
T-Mobile pioneered this sales method and it has been one of many offerings that has shot them to success in the past few years.
AT&T will still be offering phones via their installment / lease plan called Next which allows interest free financing of devices with multiple upgrade options. You of course still have the option of buying a device outright or bringing your own.
Not everyone will be happy with this change, there are still many people who are stuck on paying $99 or $199 every two years, getting a new phone and locked into a contract for another 2 years. These users see this as a great deal but what they are missing is they are actually spending more for the device because of the plans inflated prices over the course of two years.
In addition, switching to these new, lower priced, non-contract plans will result in users losing their “unlimited” data plans.
For some it is going to be a mixed bag of good and bad, but for the majority of users you should save money and have a little more freedom to hop to a new carrier. Let’s hope Verizon and AT&T grab onto a few more ideas from their competitors and make the wireless landscape more competitive with even more features for users.