Just a quick heads up for anyone looking to upgrade this week or in the coming weeks to a new device on AT&T like the Samsung Galaxy Note. Starting this Sunday the 12th AT&T will be doubling the handset upgrade fee from $18 dollars to $36. This wont effect customers on a daily basis, but is double what users have paid all year thus far.

Looking over some information and paperwork provided to BGR earlier today AT&T explains their reasoning behind the changes and this basically confirms any doubts. While the change isn’t major it is a big deal and will surely make a few customers upset. I could see a decent bump or an increase to $24 or so, but double seems a bit steep. Here’s the official word:

”Because the overall costs associated with upgrading to a new device have increased, effective Sunday, February 12, 2012, AT&T will change its upgrade fee from $18 to $36.”

According to AT&T the overall costs of upgrading a device with things like LTE and other reasons, they felt this was a good time to start the changes. After the initial reports an AT&T spokeswoman was quick to comment saying that this isn’t anything new, and other carriers charge similar fees. She also points out that AT&T hasn’t changed it in well over 10 years. To them the change is warranted.

Wireless devices today are more sophisticated than ever before. And because of that, the costs associated with upgrading to a new device have increased and is reflected in our new upgrade fee. This fee isn’t unique to AT&T and this is the first time we’re changing it in nearly 10 years.”

So what are your thoughts? Is this a deal breaker for some, or just something we’ll have to live with. If they’ve really not changed this in 10 years I’d say we were lucky to get this far given the changes to 3G, 4G LTE and smartphones over the past few years. These changes come just before a big release of the Galaxy Note for AT&T. Will you still be upgrading?