AT&T Changes Upgrade Cycle To 24 Months


Yesterday, AT&T announced that it would be following Verizon’s lead by altering its upgrade policy. The policy changes will match Verizon’s 24-month upgrade cycles, meaning that you can only upgrade your device every 24-months.

AT&T’s new policy will apply to any new and existing customer whose agreement expires anytime after March 2014, so if your contract ends before March, next year you are still safe and will be able to upgrade at the original 20th-month point. Anytime after that, then I am afraid you will have to wait an extra 4 months to upgrade.

Obviously, with the introduction of its new upgrade options AT&T need to ensure that all of its customers are aware of the new upgrade options. AT&T will still allow the sharing of upgrade between lines, discounts if you trade in your old phones and the ability to bring your own cellphone to your new contract.

AT&T are also telling its customers that after being on a 6-month contract, they may qualify for a partial discount off the full retail price of a phone of their choice.

The new upgrade options that will be going forward are as follows:

  • Purchase a subsidized device with a new two-year wireless agreement – You will be eligible to upgrade your device at the subsidized price after 24 months.
  • Share an upgrade – Share an upgrade with another person on your account provided it is within the same device category (e.g. phone to phone, tablet to tablet, etc.)
  • Early upgrades – Once you’ve completed six months or more of your Service Commitment, you qualify for partial discount off the full retail price when you sign a new two-year wireless agreement.
  • Trade-in – Take advantage of our trade in program. And, for a limited time, when you trade in your current smartphone (three years or newer and in good working condition), you could receive at least $100 off the purchase of a new smartphone.1
  • Purchase a device at full retail price – You can pay full retail price for a phone anytime without a two-year Service Commitment.
  • Bring your own device – You’re welcome to bring a compatible GSM-capable phone to AT&T and sign up for service without a Service Commitment.

Are you a fan of the new 24-month upgrade cycles? I know I’m certainly not. I’m that person, the person that is eager to have the latest smartphone, as soon as its released.