Dec. 5, 2013 at 2:35 PM ET
AT&T is preparing to roll out some significant changes to its Mobile Share plan that will cut service charges for off-contract phones. Starting Dec. 8, the carrier is tweaking its Mobile Share pricing model to make monthly payments $15 cheaper for those purchasing phones without a two-year contract.
The deal applies to AT&T Next smartphones, a smartphone that you currently own that you bring in to AT&T, off-contract devices purchased at full retail price, or those switching to a new plan after their current contract is up. The plan doesn’t cover the cost of the device itself, whether you’re opting for AT&T’s Next plan , buying the handset at its full value or paying the subsidized two-year contract price.
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The Mobile Share Value plan is similar to AT&T’s previous model in that users will need to pay a set fee per device. However, the carrier is now standardizing that cost at a flat rate of $40 for subsidized smartphones, $20 per feature phone, $25 per AT&T Next phones, and $10 per tablet. This doesn’t include the data charge, which depends on which plan you choose.
As our chart shows, the monthly cost for contract-free handsets including your data charges and fee per device even out to $15 cheaper using AT&T’s Mobile Share Value plan. For example, the $25 you would pay for a non-contract device combined with the $55 you’d pay for 2GB of data would equal $80. This is $15 less than the $95 you would pay per month for the same amount of data using a subsidized phone.
The deal is appealing for those looking for a contract-free device, but only cuts prices for subsidized phones in certain instances. Those who choose plans in the 6GB to 20GB range will save significantly, but the 1GB to 4GB range appears to cost exactly the same.
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