AT&T to Sharply Hike iPhone Early-Termination Fee to $325

iPhoneAT&T will increase its early-termination fee on the iPhone from $175 to $325 for new customers, following a similar increase on smartphones by Verizon in recent months.
Starting June 1, the jump in the penalty fee for those wishing to end a two-year contract early will affect new and renewing customers, not existing contracts.
The news comes in the wake of a flurry of media reports that Verizon could be offering iPhones by the end of the year. The current speculation is that the sudden boost in the ETF is a way of discouraging an exodus to Verizon.
AT&T’s fee hike applies to all smartphones, but other reports have Apple ending its exclusive contract with AT&T within months.
Verizon increased its smartphone ETF in November, from $175 to $350.
Dallas-based AT&T is also bracing for a new version of iPhone expected next month. Existing customers who re-sign for the newer version will be subject to the higher ETF.
Apple and AT&T have not said when their exclusivity agreement will end, butt many analysts say it could happen by year’s end.
An AT&T spokesman told the Dallas Morning News that the decision to raise the fee was unrelated to the iPhone or any other particular phone.
AT&T also said it will lower the early-termination fee on its basic phones by $25, to $150.

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