AT&T extends upgrade period to full years, continues a worrying trend

The big US carriers tend to echo each other's customer-hostile policy decisions all too often, and that's unfortunately happening once again. Effective today, AT&T is shadowing Verizon by extending its standard device upgrade interval from 20 months to the full two years of a typical agreement. All of its new contract subscribers, as well as those whose terms finish in March or later, will have to cope with the longer waiting periods. There's little context for the decision in a corporate memo that we've obtained; we've reached out to AT&T for some background, and we'll let you know if we hear more. Whatever the motivations, it's clearer than ever that habitual upgraders need to either pay the full hardware price or move to more flexible providers.

[Thanks, anonymous tipster]