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Is AT&T ending 2-year contracts?

by Jacob Kleinman | December 30, 2015December 30, 2015 1:30 pm PDT

AT&T is finally killing off the two-year phone contract next month, according to an internal document leaked to Engadget. The memo, which was apparently sent out to employees on Wednesday, reveals that beginning on January 8 the carrier will only let you pay full price upfront or through a NEXT installment plan.

We reached out to AT&T for confirmation and the company offered a statement that seems to support the rumor, though it’s not quite as definitive:

With $0 down for well-qualified customers, the ability to upgrade early and down payment options available with even lower monthly installments, our customers are overwhelmingly choosing AT&T Next. Starting January 8, AT&T Next will be the primary way to get a new smartphone at AT&T. This does not apply to business customers under a qualified wireless service agreement.

According to the leaked memo this move will cover AT&T’s entire lineup from the latest flagships to flip phones or any other “Quick Messaging” and “Basic” handsets. The one exception, which AT&T confirmed to TechnoBuffalo in the statement above, is corporate customers with a specific type of contract.

It’s still unclear whether the change will affect how AT&T sells wearable devices. The carrier recently announced plans to offer some smartwatches on a two-year contract through its NumberSync service, which assigns the device the same phone number used by your smartphone. So it seems unlikely the company’s wearable program will change anytime soon.

Engadget

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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