If rumors of a Verizon iPhone in September (or a Sprint iPhone later this summer) are true, AT&T is going to have a hard-time keeping iPhone customers on their network after their exclusivity is up. One great way of keeping subscribers would, of course, be to offer better rates and improve their service… but since this is Ma Bell we’re talking about, they’ve just decided to try to almost double the price of Early Termination Fees from $175 to $325 to keep their existing customers locked-in.
To be fair, this is already the price of Verizon’s ETF… so AT&T is really just trying to make it equally difficult for subscribers to walk away from a contract as Verizon already is. Short term, however, it makes it a lot more expensive a proposition for customers to abandon ship for their competitors.
On their part, AT&T is saying the timing of the price increase isn’t related to Verizon getting the iPhone. Yeah, yeah. We’ll believe that only if a CDMA iPhone isn’t announced at WWDC.