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AT&T: Smartphone hardware subsidies are likely dead into the future

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 11 Dec 2013 11:47 User comments (6)

AT&T: Smartphone hardware subsidies are likely dead into the future AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has said that the company will likely kill off device subsidies into the future.
"When you're growing the business initially, you have to do aggressive device subsidies to get people on the network," he said. "But as you approach 90 percent penetration, you move into maintenance mode. That means more device upgrades. And the model has to change. You can't afford to subsidize devices like that."

The wireless carrier just introduced new pricing plans that reward customers who keep their older devices, or bring their own, allowing them to save up to $15 per month on their service bill. Additionally, the company also introduced its "Next" program, which allows for no-money down and 0 percent financing for smartphones but adds to the monthly bill.

"If you are a customer and you don't need to upgrade your device, you can get unlimited talk and text and access to the data network for $45 all-in,"
adds Stephenson. "You can use your own device or finance it. I think this will be very powerful. It's where we see the market going."

T-Mobile USA started the current wave of moving away from upgrades/subsidies and dropping monthly prices significantly, and has been wildly successful, taking back market share for the first time in years.

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6 user comments

111.12.2013 18:19

Hey AT&T, where is this mysterious $45 "all-in" plan at? My wife and I are on a combined account, and pay $140 a month after tax, with a 21% discount from her employer!

I just logged in and our base talk is around $47 plus $10 for the extra line. The data share for 2GB is $55 a month, which is poor compared to the 2GB EACH we get for $25 ($5 cheaper and 2GB more data!) We have unlimited text and mobile-to-mobile calling for $30...

None of this totals $45 doubled to $90.

212.12.2013 17:42

The $45 price is for the 300MB/month plan with unlimited text/talk (lol...as if you could get a signal)...I can't even imagine using that little amount of data, but I guess some people just use their smartphones for email.



312.12.2013 17:47

Originally posted by KillerBug:
The $45 price is for the 300MB/month plan with unlimited text/talk (lol...as if you could get a signal)...I can't even imagine using that little amount of data, but I guess some people just use their smartphones for email.
I don't use much, unless I'm on the road. Wifi at home and work keeps my cell usage to a minimum. Only time I've gone over 1gb in a month was streaming World Cup video a few years ago.

413.12.2013 1:28

Originally posted by KillerBug:
The $45 price is for the 300MB/month plan with unlimited text/talk (lol...as if you could get a signal)...I can't even imagine using that little amount of data, but I guess some people just use their smartphones for email.
Yeah, I'm curious where people use large amounts of data on smartphones. I could see some people using quite a bit on uTorrent or mobile video. I'm personally not into that sort of thing. I have other devices for that. That would be an interesting poll, actually.

513.12.2013 1:34

Switched over to an MVNO of AT&T and I'm loving it. $40 per month each line minus $10 family discount. Saving about $100 per month! Unlimited Talk/Text with 1GB data (I think). Overages not possible either. Went into the AT&T store in early November and there was no such $45 "all-in" plan available at that time.

614.12.2013 9:06

Originally posted by SProdigy:
Hey AT&T, where is this mysterious $45 "all-in" plan at? My wife and I are on a combined account, and pay $140 a month after tax, with a 21% discount from her employer!

I just logged in and our base talk is around $47 plus $10 for the extra line. The data share for 2GB is $55 a month, which is poor compared to the 2GB EACH we get for $25 ($5 cheaper and 2GB more data!) We have unlimited text and mobile-to-mobile calling for $30...

None of this totals $45 doubled to $90.
I'm probably one of the few remaining people that are grandfathered in to their old "$15/mo unlimited data" plan, which they'll pry from my cold dead hands unless they drop it altogether. I have an additional line (home phone service for my parents to save them money on a landline), and my bill is still like $150. Therefore yes, oh where oh where has the $45 plan gone, oh where oh where can it be? lol

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