AT&T Increases their Early Upgrade Fee to $200

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AT&T has just increased its early upgrade fee from $75 to $200. You have to love AT&T. The change was put into effect on October 3rd and only affects smartphones. Basic and quick messaging (feature) phones still have the $75 early upgrade fee option. Why the huge jump? AT&T says its because smartphones are getting more complex and thus cost more than they used to.

Besides the non-smartphone exception, the iPhone is also as well. Unfortunately, the BlackBerry Torch 9800 is not exempt and now costs a whopping $399.99 to upgrade to early. AT&T is already being disappointed in Torch sales, so why the price hike? Why keep the nearly as expensive to build iPhone exempt? Because AT&T might not have iPhone exclusivity with Apple come early next year. It wants everyone to upgrade now before their contracts expire and they jump ship for Verizon. Even T-Mobile might be getting its own iPhone eventually.

So there you have it. $200 to upgrade your smartphone early now. Angry? Think that is just too high? Or is AT&T just trying to still make some money while the prices of smartphones keeps climbing. With 1 GHz processors becoming the norm and 256 MB of RAM now considered light, it might have a point. Of course, this is still AT&T, so hopefully they invest some of that money into their cell network.

Let me know what you think about AT&T’s decision. Going to switch carriers now instead of just upgrade early?

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