You may have noticed that AT&T and T-Mobile are in a bit of a spat at the moment. T-Mobile offers early upgrades with no-contract financing plans, and AT&T does the same a few weeks later. T-Mo woos people with credits towards early termination fees, AT&T gives a whopping $450 of credit ($250 for trading in a T-Mo phone, $200 for transferring service) to former T-Mobile customers. But it looks like the gravy train has run out of fuel - CNET reports that the promotion is over.
AT&T will be offering a new type of family plan starting tomorrow (February 2nd) that could save you a bit of cash. The Mobile Share Value Plan includes 10GB of shared data with unlimited talk/text and starts at $130 for 2 lines, and each line you add only bumps the price up $15. Just about anyone can switch to this plan, but AT&T does have an ulterior motive – these new plans are probably designed to get customers off the phone subsidy gravy train.
That hotly anticipated Android 4.2.2 update for the AT&T HTC One was approved for distribution yesterday, but now it's reportedly hitting devices. Users on XDA report that a small 16MB update is showing up first, then sometime later, the big 537MB update to Android 4.2.2 appears.
AT&T and T-Mobile have been at each other's throats for a while now, and while it should come as no surprise that there would be tension between two competitors trying to dominate the same field, things lately have become increasingly petty. Early this month, AT&T made an overt attempt to entice T-Mobile customers by offering up to $450 for them to switch carriers. T-Mobile CEO John Legere declared that AT&T was bribing customers and announced that his carrier would pay customers' early termination fees if they make the switch (from any competitor).
There were some delays, but HTC's last-generation flagship device is getting the bump up to Android 4.2.2. Yes, AT&T has approved the OTA for its version of the HTC One X. Sadly, this will be the last new version of Android it sees. It's better than nothing, though.
HTC AT&T One X customers - We have received Technical Approval for the MR with Sense 5 + OS 4.2.2. The OTA is targeted for 1/29.
Samsung has been gradually rolling out the KitKat software update for international models of the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 over the last couple of weeks. But surprisingly, it looks like at least one American carrier is eager to get Android 4.4 on the latest Samsung flagships as well. Noted XDA Developers forum member Designgears has posted official leaked builds of KitKat for AT&T's variants of the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 - you can download and flash them right now.
Do you want a phone that looks like a banana and sounds like a piece of home exercise equipment? Then you want to head on over to AT&T's website, where the LG G Flex just went up for pre-order. Three hundred greenbacks will get you the new phone on contract, while you'll need a whopping $694.99 to buy it outright or spread the cost over an interest-free Next plan. The phone will ship out for pre-orders on Tuesday, February 4th.
Earlier this month, AT&T passed the 500 mark in the race to expand the number of areas across the country with access to the carrier's 4G LTE network. The effort is ongoing, though, and the company has now officially added several more locales to the list. Customers in areas ranging from the West Coast to the Atlantic Ocean should all now notice faster data speeds when browsing on the go.
New LTE markets:
- El Centro, CA
- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA
- Cedar Rapids, IA
- Jasper, IN
- Danville, KY
- Richmond, KY
- Somerset, KY
- Cadillac and Niles-Benton Harbor, MI
- Tunica, MS
- East Liverpool, OH
- Erie, PA
- New Castle, PA
- Aguadilla-Isabela-San Sebastian, PR
- Fajardo, PR
- Ponce, PR
- Barre and Burlington, VT
- La Crosse, WI
- Wheeling, WV
That's all for now.
So AT&T's Next plans, with their $0 down and phone trade-in/upgrade after a year, are nifty for customers who always want the latest and greatest. They're also a valuable tool for enticing new customers away from the likes of Verizon and the ever-advancing T-Mobile. But what about AT&T customers who are stuck in a contract? Ma Bell hasn't forgotten about you: starting today, at least some AT&T contract customers can switch to a Next plan with no penalty.
Last week Sprint was proud to announce that it was the first carrier in the US that would let consumers pre-order the LG G Flex. All the company wanted was a $299.99 down payment and a two-year contract. Now AT&T is jumping in by delivering the same handset at the same price, though its customers also have the option to pay $26.74 for eighteen months or $34.75 for twelve with an AT&T Next plan.