We all know the annoyance of being bound to a contract for 2 years to be able to get a phone for a normal price, new (better) phones pop up weekly and by the end of a 2-year contract our handset is out of date. The only solution to this problem is to pay an “early upgrade” fee.

Well AT&T is clearly aware of the amount of people taking advantage of this option and, in turn, has upped the price $125. The new fee, now pegged at $200, will bring your subsidized phone cost very close to the actual No-Commitment price. In the fact sheet provided by AT&T, they use the Blackberry Torch as an example. A Torch purchased at the 2-year contract price is $199.99 + the new $200 Early Upgrade fee will bring the cost of the device to $399.99 a mere $100 less than the initial No-Commitment price.

It is worth note that this new, more expensive, fee only covers smartphones and not the company’s lineup of quick messaging or basic phones. This is a similar to Verizon’s move earlier charging a whopping $350 early termination fee for it’s advanced phones, and we can fully expect to see other carriers follow suit.

[Via BGR]


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