It looks like AT&T is ready to follow T-Mobile’s lead, as a new report from Droid Life revealed that the company will begin to move away from two-year contracts starting June 1.
According to “multiple sources,” AT&T will no longer offer traditional two-year contracts at local dealer and national retail locations. With that being said, those who still want contracts will be able to get them through Direct Fulfillment, which involves placing an in-store order and having it delivered to your house. Because of the delivery requirement, however, you will have to wait a few days for your device to arrive.
In addition, you can still get a two-year contract through AT&T’s website, as well as at company-owned retail locations. Finally, two-year agreements will also remain available for tablets, feature phones, and Internet of Things (IoT) products such as smartwatches.
Other than that, however, sales representatives will move potential customers to AT&T Next, which has you paying off your phone in monthly installments. And even if you’re a current AT&T subscriber with a two-year contract, you will be prompted to move over to Next. This isn’t unlike T-Mobile’s current strategy, which also has subscribers paying for both their devices and their service plans on a monthly basis.
If all of this sounds familiar, it’s because it was initially reported back in April that AT&T would eliminate two-year agreements at the end of May, albeit in less specific terms. Interestingly, last month’s and today’s reports do not address the likely issue of credit checks, which are currently required if you want to sign up for Next. Since it looks like Next will be the only way to purchase an AT&T phone without paying for it upfront, however, we predict this requirement will be altered in some way.
AT&T has yet to confirm its move away from two-year contracts, so we’ll update as we learn more.