AT&T Customers Will Wait Even Longer for Upgrades Now

With the rate at which smartphone technology is progressing, your smartphone probably started to feel a bit dated only a few months after you bought it. Never mind the fact that it is still an extremely powerful mobile device with more processing power and RAM than your first computer, we know the pull towards the new, shiny, more powerful devices can be quite strong. All of this makes AT&T's latest decision all the more depressing. The company has announced that it will be upping the wait time that customers must endure before they are entitled to an upgrade.

Back in April, Verizon announced that come January 2014, customers would only be entitled to an upgrade after they had fulfilled their 24-month contract. Previously, customers could upgrade after 20 months of their two-year contract. Now it looks like AT&T is making the same move. The company today revealed its revised upgrade eligibility for customers on two year contracts, which includes a 24-month upgrade policy.

AT&T assures customers that they'll still be able to share upgrades with others on their account, purchase subsidized devices with two-year agreements, and trade in their phones as well as bring their own device to the carrier and buy new phones outright. Early upgrades, where customers receive a discount on new devices six months into their agreement (conditional on signing a new two-year contract), are also not affected. 

AT&T's new policy covers all of its wireless products and services and applies to any customer whose agreement expires in March 2014 or later.

  • house70
    Carriers are well-known for following each-other's trends when it comes to screwing their customers. This is by no means a surprise.
  • husker
    Not a smart marketing decision. By allowing the upgrade before the contract is up keeps people signed up because they want the upgrade sooner. If my contact is over, I'm more likely to shop around for other carriers as long as I'm looking at upgrading my phone.
  • evilaaron11
    That's why they need to get rid of contracts.
  • Bezzell
    Why anybody still gives them money, is beyond me.
  • soldier44
    Verizon did the a while ago. They are driving alot of people to unlimited prepaid services for alot less. I'm getting tired of paying $190 a month for 2 lines and so are alot of other people in the same boat.
  • pliskin1
    My contract was up in November last year, and I still haven't "upgraded". But that's because I hate all of AT&T's current phone offerings, and don't want to pay astronomical prices for data.
  • g-unit1111
    Switching to Sprint and getting an HTC One is sounding better and better.
  • getochkn
    The problem isn't as much wanting to upgrade to a new device, it's to get a new OS since most of the carriers don't bother with updates for the Android devices. My phone was abandoned at Gingerbread 2.3.6, yet thanks to hackers it runs 4.2.2 Jellybean perfectly.
  • dark_knight33
    No collusion going on at all in the telcom market... FCC asleep at the wheel, but still collecting paychecks.
  • unksol
    Meh. I'm already leaving AT&T when my contracts up. They USED to get me on the upgrade due to the girlfriend repeatedly breaking or losing every (very expensive) phone she touched within 3 months. But their service prices (and verizons) are insane. And constantly trying to raise them. Even my company discount doesn't make a dent. They are turning smart phone service into an unnecessary luxury