AT&T will kill two-year contracts at the beginning of 2016


Two-year contracts are about to be a thing of the past.
Two-year contracts are about to be a thing of the past.
Photo: Mike Mozart/Flickr

If you want to buy the iPhone 6s on a two-year contract with AT&T you better hurry.

Internal documents from AT&T leaked online this morning revealing the carrier plans to finally kill the two-year contracts it’s offered long before it become the first carrier to sell the iPhone.

According to the document obtained by Engadget, starting on January 8th the only way customers will be able to buy new phones will be to either pay for the device in full, or making installment payments over time with the company’s Next plan.

An AT&T spokesperson confirmed the upcoming change to The Verge, saying that customers are overwhelmingly choosing AT&T Next when they buy a new device.

“Starting January 8, AT&T Next will be the primary way to get a new smartphone at AT&T,” the company said in a statement. “This does not apply to business customers under a qualified wireless service agreement.”

The change will apply to all AT&T phones, including flip phones and feature phones. AT&T stopped offering contracts through partners like Best Buy and Apple earlier this year, but you could still subsidize the costs of a new phone by visiting the AT&T Store to sign-up for a contract.

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  • Lance Hunter

    And of course there’s no way to keep your unlimited data plan if you go on AT&T Next. This is their plan to get rid of the last of the unlimited data plans.

    • Bino

      It’s finally happened. Damn.

    • Other sites have reached out to AT&T and confirmed we can keep out plans and use next, but its total bs as there was the additional $400 built into the plan specifically for the upgrade subsidy. So yeah we’re still boned.

  • Your Mom

    So get a biz plan.

  • Gary

    I spoke to an AT&T rep about keeping the unlimited plan and choosing the Next option. As of last month, when I renewed my 2 year contract, you could still keep your unlimited plan and go with Next. Only caveat is, you’ll be paying more. I’m currently paying roughly $80 a month for a single line with unlimited. Choosing the Next option, for example can add an additional $30 depending on which Next plan you choose.

  • Jody Drummond

    Well…. might finally be time to switch carriers… Already paying $120 for two lines.

    • Ophi Ophiuchus

      W/ AT&T, I was paying $154.00 for one line w/ Unlimited Data = $30, Unlimited Calling = $69, Unlimited Text = $20, Insurance = $10, a few other small options, and of course FEES/TAXES on the iPhone 4s. But I traveled for work/business, and needed a Hotspot so I could write/send emails directly from my iPad, swipe/accept card payments (w/ Square), and watch Netflix/TV when waiting for a Customer. AT&T required that I lose my Unlimited Data to use the HOTSPOT/TETHERING option (which is/was FREE of cost to use, other than basic DATA Consumption). I was against losing my Unlimited Data, so I stuck with the plan I had….. But I really needed the Hotspot, and most of my customers worked no where near a place that supplied WiFi. So I fought with AT&T management or whomever was in charge at the time when I called, and they said they can’t allow me to keep my unlimited data period. This was back in 2013. So, finally I caved, and switched to their Mobile Share Plan w/ 10 gigs of Data. $100 JUST for Data. But I ended up paying just $15 for Call/Text, another $10 for Insurance, and another $20 – $25 in Fees and Taxes…. Saved me a lousy $5.00 from my bill….. Whoopdie doo. I was now paying $147.00 to about $150.00 throughout the year. But then I needed/wanted the new iPhone 6Plus back in April of 2015, and when I switched from 10 gigs to 7 gigs, I was only paying $107 a month for everything. But NEXT cost me an additional $32 to my billing. Which brought it all up to $138 to $139 a month. But this Summer, they screwed me and charged me an additional $107 to my billing for a CYCLE Change. But I ended up switching to T-Mobile with a friend of mine this October. and honestly, AT&T was always the fastest network I have ever used, UNTIL NOW!!!! I am never switching back to AT&T, I do not care if they bring back Unlimited Data with a cheaper cost to the whole bill. T-Mobile is faster, and cheaper, and better in my opinion. AT&T lost my respect when they overcharged me for some ridiculous CHANGE in my billing and DUE Cycles. What F’n Morons they were for doing that shit. I now have the iPhone 6s PLUS, with T-Mobile, with their Jump Plan. So when the new iPhone 7 comes out in September/October, we automatically get to switch to the new phone without any additional costs. AT&T won’t even do that for us Customers. AT&T expects you to pay off the whole “LEASE” of the “NEXT” plan or 3/4’s of the FULL COST of the phone.

      • Just jailbreak your iPhone and you can tether on unlimited data all you want. Main reason I’ve been doing it for years as I’m on unlimited data too.

  • MrMayhem Ice

    And this is why I went to T-Mo a year ago when they screwed up my Contract. I had Unlimited data since its birth and when I went to get the new iPhone 6+ they somehow “Mistakenly” removed my unlimited data plan and there is no way to put it back since the data plan code no longer exists in their system. So if you do an upgrade now make sure to check what they do before they submit it……cause once they submit it and if they “mistakenly” removed your unlimited data plan there is no way to get it back !

  • PMB01

    T-Mobile costs way less than that and coverage isn’t much different. Plus they still offer unlimited data to new customers and have all the uncarrier benefits. Haven’t regretted switching from Verizon and never will.