updated 08:50 am EDT, Mon April 4, 2011
ATT raises early upgrade price by 50
AT&T in a very low-profile move has raised early and exception upgrade pricing for iPhones and other smartphones. A notice to store staff has warned that, as of Sunday, users are paying $50 more. The move would change the premature upgrade price from $249 for an iPhone 3GS to $299, and up to $449 or $549 for an iPhone 4 before normal eligibility comes up.
A separate memo both confirms the price hikes and showed across-the-board pricing increases. With the exception of the iPhone, pricing will go up sharply for anyone buying a phone contract-free or a shoretened one-year contract. Those without a contract will pay at least $50 more, AndroidCentral saw, while one-year buyers will spend a large $150 more.
Basic messaging phones are also going up by $20 off-contract or $10 on a one-year deal.
AT&T hasn't confirmed the rate hikes, though they will ultimately have the largest impact on non-Apple hardware. Pricing for Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone 7 devices will now mostly be competitive on a two-year plan where the iPhone may be the more reasonable deal on shortened terms.