AT&T will be following in Verizon Wireless' footsteps by increasing the early termination fees for smartphones and other advanced devices. While Verizon increased its ETF to $350, AT&T will increase its ETF to $325. That is nearly double the previous ETF of $175. As with Verizon, the smartphone ETF will decrease by $10 for each month of the contract.
The upside, however, is that AT&T will be decreasing the ETFs of its feature phones and quick-messaging devices by $25 (previously $175, now $150). Feature phone ETFs will drop by $4 for each month.
Presumably, this means AT&T is foreseeing an uptick in smartphone customers and a possible downtick in feature phone customers. UPDATE: An AT&T spokesperson has said that they're actually enjoying quite a bit of growth in the quick messaging device market and expects that to continue.
These changes will only apply to new contracts from June 1 going forward, so you might want to get a phone before then. Funnily, the iPhone won't be announced until after that date, but AT&T has insisted that the ETF increase is unrelated to that. We wonder if the FCC will come knocking on AT&T's door about this as well.
(Via Wall Street Journal)