Phones forum


Are phones no longer subsidized?

by LuvMyBacon / November 22, 2015 8:30 PM PST

I'm not real savvy as regards mobile carrier's business models nowadays. I'm on AT&T. I've had a Lumia 920 for a few years. Today I went in to a local store thinking I could simply trade it in for a new 950 with maybe a small service fee. I was told that given the plan I'm on, I'm not eligible to trade in my phone. Basically I was told that trading in a phone for a nominal fee and inexpensive (subsidized) phones are a thing of the past. The salesperson offered to sell me a Lumia 950 for the full retail price of $598, and that I could pay it off in installments added to my monthly bill; or sign a new two-year contract at $149, and still have to pay off the phone. Can someone tell me is this truly the new business model for buying phones? I may have been misled at some point in the last year or so when AT&T offered to reduce my monthy bill. I suspect what happened is that I ended up with a plan that doesn't allow trading phones. Are people really spending $600 on unsubsidized phones? Thanks.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Are phones no longer subsidized?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Are phones no longer subsidized?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Clarification Request
Also- what plan precisely are you on now?
by Pepe7 / November 23, 2015 1:04 PM PST

That will let us know why you weren't eligible for a 2 yr upgrade. ( The 2 yr fee is $45/flat, btw.)
This does not mean trading it in, but simply replacing it with something else. Trading them was eons ago(!)

All Answers

Collapse -
It depends on your plan, and where you went
by Pepe7 / November 23, 2015 1:01 PM PST

My *current* understanding is that ATT still does 2 year upgrades at corporate owned locations, and online only. No longer are the Best Buy, etc. points of sale options for this type of nominal upgrade w/ $45 fee.

Why bother with a store when you can logon to, using the online account manager to see your instant upgrade options? Plus, you will have access to a small selection of certified like new handsets that are usually not sold in stores but only online. Same upgrade fee, etc. but the convenience of not having to get the stupid sales pitch of the in store folks.

If you want more specifics, feel free to ask but I feel the issue is straightforward if you stick to their OLAM and know what you want, etc.

Collapse -
It had to happen.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 23, 2015 1:45 PM PST

Let me trot out a cheap phone that should not be subsidized. My son has this one. is almost always under 140 dollars. There are other phones in this price range that are scaring the heck out of the industry.

As to trading phones I had no problem slipping in the GSM SIM and changing the settings to the carrier.

But let's shop for unlocked Windows Phones. finds them and 600 bucks is very high.

Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Help, my PC with Windows 10 won't shut down properly

Since upgrading to Windows 10 my computer won't shut down properly. I use the menu button shutdown and the screen goes blank, but the system does not fully shut down. The only way to get it to shut down is to hold the physical power button down till it shuts down. Any suggestions?