Shortly after rolling out its Next monthly device payment program, AT&T was slapped with a plethora of criticism, not the least of which came from T-Mobile, which offers a similar program. T-Mobile fired out a couple rounds of advertisements that lambasted the program, as well as a couple of lengthy statements, something that perhaps helped spur the carrier’s latest move: lower monthly device payments.
Under AT&T Next, subscribers can get a smartphone without down-payment, instead paying a monthly rate that is determined based on the handset, with the original pricing having fallen between $15 and $50. The program was criticized as being financially askew, putting the burden on the consumer to pay for the phone at an unsubsidized rate without decreasing the monthly service fee.
Verizon also unveiled a similar plan called Edge, offering handsets for a monthly fee with its own stipulations and requirements. T-Mobile also criticized Verizon during its advertisement-based attacks, but not to such a severity as AT&T. Now the latter carrier has made a move that very slightly undercuts Verizon, though it does still come in a bit over T-Mobile.
The folks over at MacRumors report that the pricing for some of AT&T’s handsets is now lower, though whether the pricing changes extend to all its devices offered under Next or just a few is unknown. Likewise, it isn’t known whether the price drop is consistent among all the devices, or if some are receiving lower monthly discounts than others. However, with the handsets we do have the pricing for, the rate undercuts Verizon by $0.08.
Under the new pricing structure, the iPhone 5 has dropped from $32.50 per month to $27 per month, which works out to $324 per year rather than Verizon’s $325 annual rate. The folks over at Engadget are reporting that the Galaxy S 4 has also been dropped to the same pricing structure, and they say that a source has said both Nokia and BlackBerry devices have also seen a price drop.