If you are planning to upgrade your smartphone anytime before Valentine's Day then you better think twice as AT&T plans to double its upgrade fee to $36 come February 12. AT&T sent the following communication to Engadget:
"Wireless devices today are more sophisticated than ever before. And because of that, the costs associated with upgrading to a new device have increased and is reflected in our new upgrade fee. This fee isn’t unique to AT&T and this is the first time we’re changing it in nearly 10 years."
AT&T upgrade fee pushed to $36 from February 12
We are starting to see this trend with all smartphones as more high-end devices sit on the $299.99 price tag and early-termination fees continue to rise. Take for instance the iPhone 4S which was a raging sales success for Apple. On the other end, we saw carriers like Sprint report huge losses due to heavily subsidizing the iPhone.
So before you chalk this up to carrier's greed, you may need to look at just how advanced smartphones are today as compared to exactly a year ago.