T-Mobile got rid of two-year phone contracts nearly three years ago and embarked on a continuous campaign ever since to steal away subscribers from AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. It took until this year for Magenta’s competition to join the pool. Verizon has officially ditched the contract for new customers on August 13 while AT&T started limiting availability of contracts to company stores and online.
It seems that AT&T is ready to drop the other shoe as an employee has leaked out a company brief that announces the demise of the two-year agreement starting January 8. New and existing customers must now either buy their next feature phone or smartphone from AT&T at retail price or apply to one of its Next equipment installment plans.
Up in the air are multi-year contracts for enterprise accounts and two-year contracts on special devices such as smartwatches and tablets.
An important distinction between Ma Bell and Verizon’s moves off of contracts is that the latter will carry contract options for existing customers. Again, AT&T will not.
Sprint is the only first-tier carrier in the United States still actively offering contracts.