Apple Dumps AT&T Subsidized iPhone Options for Next Plan

Only days after AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega said subsidized phone prices are going away, Apple dropped the option for iPhones on the carrier's network. Instead of offering iPhones on AT&T's network with two-year contracts and subsidized prices, Apple now only offers the AT&T Next plan which spreads the cost of a new iPhone over several months.

Want an AT&T network iPhone? You're looking at AT&T's Next plan, nowWant an AT&T network iPhone? You're looking at AT&T's Next plan, now

The Next plan lets AT&T customers get a new smartphone—in this case, an iPhone—without paying any money up front. The cost of their new phone is spread out over 12, 18, or 24 months as part of their monthly bill, and can be traded in for a new phone once it's paid off.

Earlier this week Mr. de la Vega said subsidized mobile phone plans are on their way out. "I think it is one of those options that is going to go away slowly," he said. "Not because we insist on it but because customers will choose it less often."

AT&T has been slowly moving away from subsidized phone plans, just as T-Mobile has done. This latest change isn't Apple specific, but instead is just the latest move in AT&T's grand plan. Subsidized phone plans are still available through AT&T's website and retail stores, although that will likely end at some point, too.

Pricing for an iPhone through AT&T's Next plan starts at US$21.64 a month for a 16GB iPhone 6, and $24.97 a month for a 16GB iPhone 6 Plus.