Apple is reportedly moving away from selling subsidized AT&T smartphones and switching to the carrier’s Next plans. The change will reportedly soon be reflected in Apple Store locations and online.
AT&T’s Next program lets you upgrade your device as often as once per year, compared to the traditional 2-year contracts. In return, you’ll have to pay a monthly installment on your iPhone. Only business customers will still be able to buy subsidized AT&T phones from Apple once the change kicks in this month, 9to5Mac said.
Apple is apparently planning a shift in the way it sells Verizon supported devices as well. Anyone who picks up an iPhone using the carrier’s Edge program may not be able to upgrade until a full 24 months have passed.
It’s likely Apple is moving in this direction as the smartphone market starts to trend away from two-year contracts, and toward full-priced phones or payment plans like Edge and Next. AT&T’s terms, specifically, seem likely to entice customers to upgrade their iPhones annually, which should certainly help iPhone sales.