AT&T

Two-year contracts are will soon be shunned by another US carrier. On January 8, 2016, AT&T will stop offering contracts with its smartphones, the operator confirmed to PhoneScoop. That means that the only ways to get a new phone from AT&T will be to pay full price or pay in installments with AT&T Next. AT&T does say that business customers will still be able to get a contract.

Meanwhile, leaks and rumors have shed more light on AT&T’s upcoming move. Leaked AT&T documents show that unlike Verizon, which recently stopped offering contracts to new customers but still allow existing contract customers to upgrade to a subsidized phone, contracts will be dead for both new and existing AT&T customers. If you want a tablet, hotspot, wearable, or Internet of Things device from AT&T, though, a Droid-Life report says that you’ll still be able to get those products on a contract.

Contracts used to be the way that pretty much all US wireless customers bought a new phone, but in recent years, the carriers have been moving to installment plans. AT&T started to move away from contracts earlier this year when it stopped offering them at third-party retailers like Best Buy, but soon they’ll stop being available at AT&T stores, too. It’s a big deal for the US wireless industry that helps to show consumers the true cost of a smartphone.

Are any of you currently in a contract with your carrier?

Sources: PhoneScoop, Engadget, Droid-Life

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