AT&T Stops Offering Subsidized Tablets
Subsidizing hardware prices in exchange for signing a two-year service contract may be the status quo for smartphones, but it hasn’t carried over well to the tablet market, where far more people buy Wi-Fi-enabled models than cellular-enabled slates. Now, subsidized tablets aren’t even an option at the two largest carriers in the United States; as of today, AT&T is no longer offering subsidized tablets, mirroring a similar move Verizon made just last month.
The company will still offer tablets at non-subsidized prices, though it only sells the Pantech Element, the HTC Jetstream and various iPads new at the moment. All three are on sale for their full, unsubsidized price on the AT&T website as of this morning.
Since the subsidies are coming to an end, the existing stand-alone tablet data plans are now no-commitment, and AT&T shaved $5 off the price of the 3GB plan, dropping it down to $30/mo. If you need a bit more or a bit less than that, AT&T also offers a 250MB plan for $14.99/mo. or a 5GB plan for $50/mo. On the other hand, if you’ve already jumped on the shared data bandwagon, connecting a tablet to your Mobile Share data pool only sets you back $10/mo.