According to a leaked AT&T memo, the days of signing a 2-year contract and receiving a subsidized price from the carrier
to purchase a new tablet are over starting on Sunday. The only pricing option available for those buying a tablet from AT&T is the carrier's no commitment pricing. Those who purchased a tablet before Sunday and signed a 2-year contract can still sign up for Mobile Share for $10 as long as they fulfill the two-year term of the contract.
Now, those buying a tablet through the nation's second largest carrier have a choice of DataConnect plans including 250MB of data monthly ($14.99), 3GB of monthly data ($30), 5GB of monthly data ($50) or they can be added to a Mobile Share account for $10 a month. Mobile Share is set to start on August 23rd
AT&T joins Verizon as Big Red had already pulled subsidized pricing from its tablet lineup
with the arrival of its Share Everything
plan. For AT&T though, the affect of going cold turkey on tablet subsidies is a lot less painful than for Verizon customers. After all, AT&T's tablet offerings consist of the Apple iPad
which never was offered with a subsidized 2-year contract, a refurbished Samsung GALAXY Tab 8.9 LTE
, the Pantech Element
and the HTC Jetstream
Do the moves by the number one and two carriers in the U.S. foreshadow an eventual end to subsidies on new phones, or is that something that not even Verizon or AT&T can risk?