Bad news for AT&T fans who like to buy their phones outright: prices are goin’ up.
Over the weekend, our buds over at AndroidCentral got ahold of an AT&T document that leaked the plans: for anyone who wanted to buy their smartphones sans any sort of contract, prices are going up by $50 bucks.
If they had previously agreed to a contract but wanted to upgrade at the one-year mark, prices are going up by $150 bucks. Ouch. The only smartphones that get any sort of exception to that rule are iPhones, in that their early-upgrade, on-contract cost will only be spiked by $50 bucks (for example, the 32GB iPhone 4 previously cost $499 in an early upgrade; it will now cost $549.)
BGR was able to confirm the leak with AT&T, who blamed the price hikes on the increasing cost of smartphones. That doesn’t really explain why they’re hiking up the price of off-contract phones (which are generally sold at manufacturer’s retail price, sans any discount), so it seems like they’re just trying to make contracts thaaaat much more enticing.