Apple on Monday has informed employees of some big changes to how iPhones are sold through AT&T and Verizon Wireless, according to sources. Apple has indicated that iPhones sold via AT&T at both physical Apple Retail Stores and on the Apple Online Store will move exclusively to Next financing plans this month, in June. In addition, this means that a customer who wants to buy a new iPhone on AT&T will no longer be able to do so on a subsidy. The AT&T Next program allows customers to purchase an iPhone and pay for the price of the hardware over a several month period (20, 24, or 30 installments) and upgrade to new hardware earlier than before (after 12, 18, or 24 installments).
While this change is occurring for standard iPhone purchases, many sources are saying that two year subsidies through AT&T will remain for business purchases through Apple. Customers transitioning to Next will be able to keep unlimited data plans.
For Verizon customers, those who now purchase an iPhone through the Edge program will no longer be eligible for the connected Edge Up feature.
Moreover, with Edge Up, customers became eligible for early hardware upgrades after 18 months, but with this feature going away, this will move back to the standard 24 months for the standard Edge program. After the iPhone becomes completely paid off, the customer can also keep the hardware.
Lastly, source also noted that Verizon is planning to match AT&T and drop two-year contract subsidy programs as soon as the end of the summer.