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AT&T confirms price hikes, claims sophistication to blame

updated 11:20 am EDT, Mon April 4, 2011

ATT says device tech to blame for new price hikes

AT&T in a statement confirmed decisions to raise device prices for early upgrades and shortened contracts. Carrier spokesman Seth Bloom took the unusual tack of justifying the price by claiming the devices themselves were getting more technically advanced. The price simply reflected actual costs, he said.

"As mobile devices become more sophisticated, their cost goes up." he said. "This change reflects the increased costs, while still allowing us to offer customers the latest device before they qualify."

The pricing for early upgrades affects all devices, including the iPhone, but the comments on cost are unusual given Apple's exemption from the new round of price increases for one-year and no-contract buyers. Most of AT&T's buyers, who opt for two-year contracts, won't be affected by the issue, but those who buy on shortened terms or contract-free would have more of an incentive to buy an iPhone than another high-end smartphone like the Atrix 4G or Inspire 4G.

Despite the wave of high-end Android hardware arriving in the wake of AT&T's lost iPhone exclusivity, Apple's device has remained the most popular on AT&T's network and key to its business.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. facebook_Timothy

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Apr 2011

    +9

    What Seth REALLY means is...

    AT&T is so full of sh*t they can't keep their pricing schemes straight.

    So basically, he's saying these newer phones, which were previously subsidized, cost the manufacturers more to produce, which in turn costs AT&T more to subsidize, and, since their profits aren't high enough already, instead of continuing to subsidize the phones, they're passing the buck to the customer.

    PHUCKEM

  1. starwarrior

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2006

    0

    Golf over the week end

    Here comes the price fixing. Come on blanket WiFi and/or a new Apple orbital telecommunication system.

  1. jpellino

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999

    0

    Again...

    I have 6 months left on a feature phone plan, the second line, no data plan. To even get an iPhone 3GS right now is a $200 premium. That's $33 per month they'll be taking from me on top of the $10 I'm spending anyway. If they'd just let me get the iPhone at $49 with a new plan, I'd be paying them for a new plan for much more money plus the requisite data plan, even more money.

    They're only out $60 if I bail now. And they'll charge me $200 to do so. And if they let me bail, they start charging me more...

    Are they trying to discourage use? At least rate the ETF by the plan and the hardware.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    What he really means is...

    "We're tired of all you whining iPhone users who demand cheap prices for their phones, want to upgrade every year, and demand they get the subsidized price. And we're tired of giving Apple $400 per iPhone up-front, then have to try to make that back over a two year span, and then deal with the user's complaints about over-priced data plans and other things, items we've had to change/charge because we need to make back our money."

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +1

    Or, in other words

    Why don't you people just buy your damn phone at full price and then you can do whatever the h*** you want with it. But, nooooo. You want it for $199 and two year contract, then complain because they're insisting you abide by the terms of your contract.

  1. facebook_Timothy

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Apr 2011

    0

    Or, in other words...

    testudo can go eat a bag of d*cks

  1. Stuke

    Junior Member

    Joined: Feb 2005

    0

    Or, in other words 2

    Most people would be happy paying the full price for the phone and doing whatever they want with it, like month-to-month service, or special pay-by-year discount rates. Similar to iPad. Problem is, the carriers want you locked into paying them...period. They don't want coming and going, making their revenue more variable and less fixed. Therefore, the consumer, if given a choice, a real choice, would gladly buy the unit and pay as you go. You don't have a problem buying a computer for $500 - $2,000 (the cheaper, the more frequent upgrading, too). You aren't having a problem ponying up for "tablets" with more and more of them having "3G" pay-as-you-go service. It's the plan and simple Economics 101 argument...supply and demand. You demand cell service; the carriers charge you for it with all kinds of crazy plans. Why would you ever think that will change (short of government intervention). So, if the carriers offered contract-free service (think Europe), no cancellation fees, buy the device you love and will care for, and move on in life to something that has real value.

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