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AT&T changes upgrade rules to coincide with two-year contracts

We’re sure that one of the most common questions that people ask when they walk into an AT&T store or call customer service on the phone is, “When can I upgrade?” With new smartphones coming out at a furious pace, customers are often eager to upgrade to the latest and greatest well before they're eligible for a device that is subsidized by the carrier.

AT&T has announced that it is changing its upgrade policy to coincide with its 24-month wireless contracts. The new 24-month upgrade policy (which is an increase from the current 20-month period) applies to any customer whose agreement expires in March 2014 or later.
 
AT&T will still offer early upgrades after you've completed six months or more of your service commitment at a partial discount. And subscribers can always pay full retail price to get an upgrade any time during their service contract.

The wireless company is also providing its trade-in program allowing you to get at least $100 off the purchase price of a new smartphone.

Source: AT&T



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So...
By BRB29 on 6/10/2013 9:20:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
With new smartphones coming out at a furious pace, customers are often eager to upgrade to the latest and greatest well before they're eligible for a device that is subsidized by the carrier. AT&T has announced that it is changing its upgrade policy to coincide with its 24-month wireless contracts. The new 24-month upgrade policy (which is an increase from the current 20-month period )


this is to benefit ATT and not customers lol.

To be honest, smartphones can work for 2+ years but most certainly have problems functioning correctly before you hit 2 years. You get such a massive increase in slow response, crashes, signals problems that you will mostly likely replace it before the 2 years. I've owned a smartphone since 2009 starting with the Moto Droid costing me over $600. Since then I've gone through 4 phones. I am not in any way a power user. These things are just more fragile and degrade much faster than the old flip phones.




RE: So...
By retrospooty on 6/10/2013 10:08:15 AM , Rating: 2
"These things are just more fragile and degrade much faster than the old flip phones."

??? I am not sure I agree with that. Assuming you havent damaged it, why would it operate slower, crash more or have signaling issues? I have never experienced this using smartphones since the Treo270 in 2003. Using Palm OS, Winmobile6, WebOS, Android. Also supporting IOS devices in the office for several years. I have never seen this on any platform. As a matter of fact, by the end of my phones 2 yr, its usually pretty well beat up, but still operates well.


RE: So...
By tayb on 6/10/2013 10:59:16 AM , Rating: 3
I've never not experienced this. It's a combination of software bloat and performance degradation over time. The only way I've discovered to keep your phone operating well is to routinely reset the phone to factory and stick with only incremental updates.

I've experienced this on an iPhone 3G and a Droid X. Perhaps it doesn't happen with more modern smartphones but I doubt it. Software is just too bloated.


RE: So...
By retrospooty on 6/10/13, Rating: 0
RE: So...
By BRB29 on 6/10/2013 11:22:29 AM , Rating: 1
sure, because everyone will try to root or install cyanogen right?

Just the mere fact that OS updates are limited should tell you a lot of bugs and crashes will occur.

quote:
I don't have a smartphone myself, but I've had two iPod touch's which is basically a smartphone without the cellular modem

Maybe you are more enthusiastic about phones than we are. The rest of us just expect it to work because that's what we paid for. I don't have time to mess around troubleshooting phone problems.


RE: So...
By retrospooty on 6/10/2013 11:52:29 AM , Rating: 2
"because everyone will try to root or install cyanogen right"

You dont have to root or jailbrake any phone to get it clean. Even if you do, you cant ignore it for 2 years and expect it to be running perfect.

"The rest of us just expect it to work because that's what we paid for. I don't have time to mess around troubleshooting phone problems."

I dont know what to tell you, it happens. If you aren't going to take responsibility for the phone running well, then you may keep having these issue. Do you change the oil in your car and do all of the routine maintenance to keep it running well? Not alot different, you need to be responsible for it. If you arent, then things may not run too well once years have gone by.


RE: So...
By Spuke on 6/10/2013 11:58:51 AM , Rating: 2
My two smartphones have been the most reliable, well performing cell phones I've ever had. Yes, I've had to reload at least once on both phones but at least that puts them back to performing well unlike the garbage I've owned before.


RE: So...
By Mitch101 on 6/10/2013 2:02:12 PM , Rating: 2
Just get a Windows Phone problem solved. With my usual expected response behind I think if AT&T wants to go this route then they have to provide support and updates for a full 24 months after the device is no longer being sold for use on their network..

How many Android 2.3 devices are out there that can be upgraded that have been abandoned by the carrier not providing updates?


RE: So...
By rountad on 6/10/2013 2:43:21 PM , Rating: 2
I'm guessing, due to adoption rates, it's a lot higher than the number of Windows Phone 7 users who were abandoned.


RE: So...
By Mitch101 on 6/10/2013 4:30:47 PM , Rating: 2
They can be upgraded to 7.8 and its smooth as silk AND its still supported with new build releases. There are hardware reasons why it cant be upgraded to 8. But Windows 7 devices are still sold and still supported.
7.10.8858.136 FEB 2013
7.10.8860.142 MAR 2013
7.10.8862.144 MAR 2013

Now how much hardware can support Android 4.x and is done through third party sites but the carrier wont upgrade those devices? But Ill go a step further many Android devices are STILL sold running Android 2.3.2 (Froyo) and wont be updated to even 2.3.7 (21 September 2011) by a lot of carriers. Why are 2 year old OS's being sold today with no hope of ever being updated?

Android outdated? Blame Google, not cellular carriers
http://betanews.com/2013/04/26/android-outdated-bl...


RE: So...
By amelia321 on 6/10/13, Rating: -1
RE: So...
By rountad on 6/10/2013 7:31:58 PM , Rating: 2
That doesn't change the fact that many were promised an upgrade path that won't materialize. I have anecdotal evidence of it, too :)

And I'm not defending the practice of Android being orphaned.

I put the blame for this at the carriers' feet, though. Bloatware, provisioning, not wanting to support current customers vs. focus on new customers, and the related not wanting to steal thunder from new products with upgrades.


RE: So...
By xti on 6/10/2013 12:26:39 PM , Rating: 2
a huge majority of users are not going to "clean up" a phone, but an app outside of candy crush, etc. Its what DT users have a hard time accepting...techies are a very tiny minority.

comparing it to a car is not really a good analogy, not replacing the cover on your phone isnt going to crash you into a pole.


RE: So...
By retrospooty on 6/10/2013 12:51:20 PM , Rating: 2
"comparing it to a car is not really a good analogy, not replacing the cover on your phone isnt going to crash you into a pole."

Crashing your car isnt a good analogy... Your phone running optimally, and your car running optimally is. PErformance will degrade if you ignore it.

"a huge majority of users are not going to "clean up" a phone"

I agree with what you are saying here. I was just pointing out that if that is how you manage your tech, then you shouldn't be surprised if your 2 year old phone doesnt operate as perfectly as it did when it was new. In other words, if you dont take responsibility for its operation, then dont complain about it...


RE: So...
By BRB29 on 6/10/2013 1:13:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I was just pointing out that if that is how you manage your tech, then you shouldn't be surprised if your 2 year old phone doesnt operate as perfectly as it did when it was new. In other words, if you dont take responsibility for its operation, then dont complain about it...


Once again, explain to me how I can update a phone that's cut off for updates? You keep saying take responsibility without any solution. The solution can't be custom ROM or rooting because most people don't want to mess with it.

Most of the smartphones that they're selling new in store for $50 or less with a contract is already around 1 year old. I'm willing to bet it won't get the next major update coming later this year or next year. What will you do then when your phone is crashing because it's out of date and you cannot update? Let me guess, it's the user's fault right?


RE: So...
By retrospooty on 6/10/2013 1:51:38 PM , Rating: 2
Where did you bring "update" into this? Your phone isnt crashing because of lack of updates. If you have loaded apps or some other thing that is bloating it, or causing an issue then clean them out. Worst case, reset the phone.

You mentioned above "smartphones can work for 2+ years but most certainly have problems functioning correctly before you hit 2 years.". I have never seen this happen in a decade of smartphone usage and a sold 5 years supporting them at work. There is something you have going on that others dont. I am thinking its software. You also mentioned you "The rest of us just expect it to work because that's what we paid for"

You are showing a fundamental lack of understanding of the tech and expecting it to "just work" while ignoring the obvious. If you take care of it, it should work as good 2 years later as it did day one... Unless there is a hardware issue. They don't just "wear out".

I am not saying "it's your fault". I am just pointing out the flaw in your logic. If you dont take care of your things, they wont last as long. This is why I threw in the car example. Do you change your oil and get its scheduled maintenance? If you ignore these things, performance can be degraded. If you dont want to take a few minutes to investigate the issue, you can always hand it to someone that can, maybe a more technically inclined friend?


RE: So...
By BRB29 on 6/10/2013 2:11:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
it should work as good 2 years later as it did day one... Unless there is a hardware issue. They don't just "wear out".

are you telling me there is no degradation?

quote:
Where did you bring "update" into this? Your phone isnt crashing because of lack of updates.

I've said it in several posts before this post that you replied to. Are you telling lacking updates will not crash your phones? lol
One of the things any tech will tell you to do when you have crashes/software problems is to update lol.
I'm glad your smartphone works for you 100% of the time. For the rest of us in the real world that doesn't spend hours tinkering with our devices, it only works 99% of the time. 1% is enough to piss you off when it needs to work.


RE: So...
By retrospooty on 6/10/2013 2:16:28 PM , Rating: 2
"One of the things any tech will tell you to do when you have crashes/software problems is to update lol."

Clearly you dont understand the tech.

"1% is enough to piss you off when it needs to work."


That's fine then, continue to not learn it, and how to avoid it and continue to be pissed off by it. It's no skin off my back. I was trying to help you, but it looks like you dont want help, you want to blame the tech.


RE: So...
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/10/2013 2:19:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Clearly you dont understand the tech.
I don't think he understands tech at all, he likes to think he does it seems...

Apparently, he is a computer tech, who can read minds, who works as an accountant with military clearance...

ROFL!


RE: So...
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/10/2013 2:24:14 PM , Rating: 2
I just think he is a troll who likes to talk about subjects he knows nothing about to try to look cool...


RE: So...
By retrospooty on 6/10/2013 4:08:03 PM , Rating: 2
"I don't think he understands tech at all, he likes to think he does it seems..."

Ya, I see that too. Not sure what he is doing at this site. Seems like a boring read for someone that isnt into tech.


RE: So...
By BRB29 on 6/10/2013 1:06:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you aren't going to take responsibility for the phone running well, then you may keep having these issue. Do you change the oil in your car and do all of the routine maintenance to keep it running well? Not alot different, you need to be responsible for it.


yes it's very different. Cars don't come with bloat you cannot take off. You think I want to tinker with my phone like you. I don't want to do that. Regular maintenance does not include reloading ROMs or reformatting. If you compare that to cars that's like a whole engine overhaul or transmission rebuild, not an oil change.

I don't keep apps I don't use(besides the stock apps that can't be deleted). I don't keep files I don't need. I keep everything simple and as stock as I can. Performance degrades over time and there's no fixing it besides reformat and reinstall. My only other option is custom ROM. I don't want that hassle.

I don't understand how you can claim it's the users fault when the techs themselves knows exactly what I meant when I took it in. This affects all phones regardless of what you do.

It's very convenient you keep avoiding that fact that OS updates have a cut off for every model. After that, good luck keep your phone stable. It won't be unless you don't update your apps. If you don't update your apps then it may not work correctly.


RE: So...
By retrospooty on 6/10/2013 1:57:39 PM , Rating: 2
I didnt say its the users fault... I said there are things you can do to resolve it. Your tech isnt "wearing out", its being mismanaged and you are correct, it is common. Its not about "bloat you cannot take off" either, as it worked day one with that same software.

You seem to keep keep coming back to the same thing. You want it to work perfectly, and dont want to do what it takes (very easy simple steps BTW) to keep it that way. Absolute worst case, reset the phone and restore your apps. IF you arent willing to do that, then I dont know what to tell you. MAybe the tech isnt the right thing for you. IF you are happy with the way things are, then good. If not, do something about it.


RE: So...
By BRB29 on 6/10/2013 2:18:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I didnt say its the users fault..

lol really? what about this?

quote:
I was just pointing out that if that is how you manage your tech, then you shouldn't be surprised if your 2 year old phone doesnt operate as perfectly as it did when it was new. In other words, if you dont take responsibility for its operation, then dont complain about it...

No tech devices will experience no degradation unless you didn't use it for 2 years. With software constantly update every week and not having the latest updates for both will cause hangs, locks, crashes, OS crashes. Outdated software is one of the most common reasons for crashes, glitches and bugs.

Just stop while you're ahead.


RE: So...
By retrospooty on 6/10/2013 3:53:41 PM , Rating: 2
That is not saying its your fault... It is what it is, you can choose to own it, or not. Whatever man. YOu seem happy with your head in the sand on the issue. Maybe you should get an iPhone. Being controlled tighter and locked down it is less likely to have the issue. Not immune, but easier to use for a "just make it work and dont ask me to understand it" kind of user like you.


RE: So...
By BRB29 on 6/10/2013 8:05:09 PM , Rating: 2
You're saying that it's my fault for my phones being buggy and crashing because I don't maintain it properly. At the same time, I cannot update my phone because I have stopped receiving updates. I cannot update my apps because it does not guarantee stability since I cannot update my OS.

Do you see the hypocrisy in your statement? You're telling I failed to do something when I clearly cannot do it. My only option was custom ROM or new phone, something most people including myself don't want to do.

I fully understand most Android phones. It isn't guaranteed that your phone will be updated after a year of service. It happened to all my phones. It happened to many people.

I don't think you understand the Android upgrade limits and pull the typical Steve Jobs BS "it's the users fault". It doesn't take a genius to select update when it is pushed onto your phone.


RE: So...
By BRB29 on 6/10/2013 11:18:14 AM , Rating: 2
Not receiving updates has a lot to do with it. After a year, you are probably not getting updates for the latest Android version. My droid X2 did not get jelly bean even though it was more than capable of running it.

Screen problems surface with 2 of my phones after a year. Touch interface becoming unresponsive or starts to have a mind of its own.

Battery sucks after a year always on every phone.

Slide out keyboards hinges loosen up making it feel flimsy.

Apps just crashes more often and even google maps isn't as smooth as it used to be.

signals are dropped more often. Both 3/4g and phone.

My problems seems to be on par with everyone I know. Doing a reformat and reinstall seems to help. I'm guessing the flash memory in the phones are not exactly high quality and degraded over time.

You cannot compare your personal smartphone to your work phone. My work phone are only used when I am called and I don't have any apps in there besides what's provided.

While it is fully functional most of the time, it is still annoying whenever it drops a signal or crash. People just don't notice because it's a long and slow process. You use it everyday so there is very little difference in experience from day to day. If you compare year to year then you will see the difference.


RE: So...
By Spuke on 6/10/2013 12:02:02 PM , Rating: 2
I always find others experiences interesting! My old HTC Incredible is STILL working well in the hands of the new owner that's just now decided to get a new phone (to get some new features).


RE: So...
By BRB29 on 6/10/2013 8:18:22 PM , Rating: 2
You're one of the lucky few. Living in the city force you to use your phone on a regular basis. I can't put up with a phone that malfunctions even only for a few minutes a day. Those few minutes could mean I'm 30-60 minutes late to something.


RE: So...
By Samus on 6/10/2013 1:16:20 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know how you can't agree with that. It's a no brainer that phones are more fragile now, especially the iPhone (90% of its exposed materials are glass. )


RE: So...
By Wererat on 6/10/2013 2:09:03 PM , Rating: 2
"Assuming you havent damaged it, why would it operate slower, crash more or have signaling issues?"

1. Carriers sell you a phone on day 0. Many cell phone manufacturers stop providing basic OS and maintenance fixes ~6 months after the phone's release. Compare to, say, Nvidia or AMD whose latest drivers work on hardware they sold 5 years ago, and desktop/laptop OS patches which have to work on very dated hardware. WinXP SP3 is still supported! Even on a factory refreshed/clean phone, updates to carrier functions don't always work quite right; so the same phone that was working flawlessly on day 0 doesn't by day 270, never mind day 720.

2. Heat and other factors. Sure, these are all supposed to be low(ish) power devices, but you may have noticed they get kinda warm... I think that in many cases the CPU, memory, mainboard or other important chip may actually degrade from normal use over time. We really do expect a lot from these things in environments we'd never put our desktop or laptop into.


RE: So...
By PrinceGaz on 6/10/2013 10:13:28 AM , Rating: 1
What are you doing to them to get all those problems?

I don't have a smartphone myself, but I've had two iPod touch's which is basically a smartphone without the cellular modem, and my original 2nd gen model still works fine after some three and a bit years, though I don't use it much since buying a 5th gen model a few months ago.

Both are jailbroken, but despite that I have never had any slow responses, crashes, or (Wi-Fi) signal problems with either of them. They are both as good as the day I bought them; even the battery life of the old 2nd gen model used every day for three years is still not significantly reduced from its original longevity when new.

Maybe I've been lucky, maybe some devices are better built than others, or maybe I take more care of my portable devices than you do?


RE: So...
By retrospooty on 6/10/2013 10:50:42 AM , Rating: 2
HULK SMASH!!!


RE: So...
By BRB29 on 6/10/2013 10:53:53 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't have a smartphone myself, but I've had two iPod touch's which is basically a smartphone without the cellular modem


so basically, it's not a smartphone. Maybe you should get a smartphone and see how many more things the phone has to do besides the phone part.


RE: So...
By retrospooty on 6/10/2013 11:04:14 AM , Rating: 2
Having used smartphones for over a decade I think its a valid question. What are you doing to your smartphones that is causing them to degrade? I have been and seen many platforms and OS's and have never had this happen... Unless you are just talking about software bloat.


RE: So...
By BRB29 on 6/10/2013 1:17:18 PM , Rating: 2
phones degrade because you use them just like any other electronics. The more you use them, the more they degrade. You can't possibly compare an ipod to a smartphone. Smartphones run a lot more things at a time. It also stores a more variety of software and goes through more cycles.


RE: So...
By PrinceGaz on 6/10/2013 3:09:40 PM , Rating: 2
Rubbish.

Electronics in general do not degrade (but will eventually fail completely, long after any normal intended usage period, perhaps twenty years for a phone).

Batteries may degrade if they are discharged beyond their intended limits, but most smartphones will not allow that to happen in normal use because they shutdown when the battery is very low. If you leave the phone in that state for an extended period, then, and only then would you expect degraded performance.

An iPod touch is essentially an iPhone but without the cellular modem and with a lower capacity battery. Don't pretend it isn't a smartphone, because to all intents and purposes, it is, except for the cellular modem which it does not have but those same cellular modems seem to work perfectly fine in non-smartphones for many many years.

My iPod touch is used at least as much as the average iPhone given the selection of apps I use every day on a regular basis. It isn't having to power 3G modem circuitry but is having to make frequent use of WiFi all day for all those apps (almost everywhere I am throughout a typical day has wifi I can access), using its smaller battery which at the end of the day means the iPhone and iPod touch have very similar battery life in most situations.

Exactly what components do you believe to deteriorate on a smartphone that do not on other mobile phones, or on an iPod touch? If you say battery, remember the iPod touch battery is being hit just as hard over the average day as the battery in an iPhone due to the smaller battery it has, and it could be argued gets hit harder than the iPhone when running demanding games with 3D graphics (which is what many people use it for). Games draw almost as much power from the smaller battery of the iPod touch as the larger one in the iPhone; but it seems to be able to handle them fine without degrading.

I would expect a smartphone, if not mistreated to last at least five years, albeit with reduced battery life towards the end of that time. I would not anticipate any other problems with it.


RE: So...
By BRB29 on 6/10/2013 8:13:44 PM , Rating: 2
yep, it's rubbish because your ipod touch works fine lol. I guess phones don't get hot when you run apps. I guess with the multiple of apps running, it doesn't have a higher chance of crash. I guess the discontinued updates doesn't cause instability in new apps. I guess your ipod touch can run navigation apps right?

We all know the #1 reason for any electronics failure is thermal issues. Every phone I've ever used burn up as soon as you run any resource heavy apps like navigation or even common games like angry bird.

You are full of crap but at least your ipod touch works. Good for you. On the reality side of this world, we all know ipods don't run half the things the average smartphone has to constantly run.


RE: So...
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/10/2013 8:16:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You are full of crap
How ironic, the troll saying someone else is full of crap.

quote:
Every phone I've ever used burn up as soon as you run any resource heavy apps like navigation or even common games like angry bird.
Sounds like a PEBKAC issue...


RE: So...
By Xplorer4x4 on 6/14/2013 11:05:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Exactly what components do you believe to deteriorate on a smartphone that do not on other mobile phones, or on an iPod touch?

The flash memory deteriorates on all such devices. It is essentially similar an SSD in your phone and as you surely know, SSDs do deteriorate.


Battery life
By NXTwoThou on 6/10/2013 11:41:53 AM , Rating: 2
So..about all these phones without replaceable batteries. Are they expected to last for 2 years? If not, they may be seeing some class action lawsuits or something.




RE: Battery life
By xti on 6/10/2013 12:27:49 PM , Rating: 2
yay another 3 dollar win!!!


“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads











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