We’ve confirmed that AT&T’s plans to stop offering two-year contracts through third-party retailers will also extend to Apple.
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Droid-Life first reported that AT&T was planning to drop its two-year contracts through third-party retailers starting June 1, and we’ve confirmed with several sources that the move will also kick in at Apple retail.
AT&T will continue offering phones on two-year contracts in its retail stores and through its website, but it will instead be pushing its no-contract AT&T Next installment plans through Apple and other third-party retailers like Walmart.
Apple is already well prepared for the transition, as the company started offering iPhones on AT&T Next plans through its retail stores and online last summer. Apple is also preparing retail employees for the change, according to sources.
AT&T wouldn’t comment directly on the news, but it said “Customers love AT&T Next, and we are continuing to focus on it as the preferred way that customers want to shop. We have 2 year plans available for those customers who choose them.”
The original report from Droid-Life claimed some third-party retailers would still technically be able to sign-up customers on a two-year contract, but that option means you won’t walk out of the store with the device and it will instead ship out from AT&T days later (essentially the same as ordering from AT&T online). It’s unclear if Apple will have that option once the transition is complete. Otherwise, AT&T Next monthly installment plans will be the only option for those signing up or upgrading at Apple and other third-party retailers.
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