AT&T smartphone early upgrade fee jumps to $200

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from Omaha, NE
Published: October 8, 2010

AT&T early upgrade fee increase

If you were planning to upgrade from your current AT&T device to a shiny new smartphone a little early, I hope you've been saving your pennies.  Rumors have been flying that AT&T has more than doubled their smartphone early upgrade fee from $75 to $200, and now the carrier has confirmed it.  For an example, the BlackBerry Torch costs $199.99 with a regular two-year contract.  If you want to upgrade earlier than your scheduled date, though, you'll be charged a whopping $399.99.  At that point, you're only $100 away from the cost of an off-contract Torch, which costs $499.99.  The fee increase, which actually went into effect October 3rd, does not affect the iPhone 4 or any non-smartphone device.

This price hike by AT&T is kind of surprising, and I have a feeling that it'll deter more than a few customers from upgrading earlier than scheduled.  There may even be a few that jump ship to another carrier.  Now that AT&T has increased their early upgrade fee, and both they and Verizon have upped their smartphone ETFs, it's getting increasingly expensive to be a wireless customer with the top two carriers in the nation.  How many of you have switched to a new carrier because of high costs?

Via Boy Genius Report, PCMag