While the iPhone is probably one of the most expensive smartphones available at the moment, thanks to carrier subsidies it has made the handset more affordable where all customers have to do is sign a two-year contract with the carrier and they will only pay a fraction of the asking price.
However according to a report from 9to5Mac, it seems that Apple will be doing away with carrier subsidies in its stores this month. Their sources have informed them that carriers such as AT&T and Verizon will be affected. Instead of offering up subsidies as they have done in the past, customers will now expect to see Apple pushing new plans by the carriers.
In the case of AT&T, customers will be asked to join AT&T’s Next program which is basically an installment plan and less of a subsidy, but at the same time it does make the phone affordable as you get to repay its costs over time as opposed to all at once. It will also allow users to upgrade their phones every 1, 1.5, or 2 years.
This seems to be in line with an earlier report which suggested that AT&T was looking to do away with the more traditional two-year contracts. As for Verizon customers, customers who purchase the handset through the Edge program will no longer be eligible for the Edge Up feature which allows users to become eligible for early upgrades. 9to5Mac has also heard that Verizon could follow in AT&T’s footsteps and drop the two-year contract subsidy program as well in the coming months.