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Summary:

Typically when you sign up for a two-year contract with a wireless carrier, you get to pick a handset — one that is either free or, at the very least, highly subsidized. But AT&T today started offering a new plan that allows you to buy a […]

Typically when you sign up for a two-year contract with a wireless carrier, you get to pick a handset — one that is either free or, at the very least, highly subsidized. But AT&T today started offering a new plan that allows you to buy a SIM card from them, while you bring your own (GSM-compatible) handset.

This would be a great idea if AT&T didn’t insist on a two-year-contract with the SIM card. Instead of being great, this is just a goofy idea. As a customer, why would you sign up for a two-year contract and forgo a free (or highly subsidized) handset that you can sell on eBay and use the proceeds to defray the cost of, say, a new handset of choice? SMS Text News has a first-hand report on this SIM-only plan.

  1. These service providers just don’t get it. Reminds me of the king’s sitting cozyly in their castle deciding on which plough farmers in the field should be using.

    Anyways, had they introduced the same concept of “bring your own phone” (BYOP) for their pre-paid services, I bet their subscription numbers would have seen an increase. Let’s see how this turn out and how long it survives.

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  2. AT&T’s like the retarded person who doesn’t know their retarded.

    They just do this shit expecting people to respond normally, they really believe they’re making sense!

    Add to this, the lunacy of their Internet Filtering chatter the past few days and it just further proves my point.

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  3. This does indeed defy logic – O2 and Orange in the UK have introduced similar SIM-only monthly contracts…but with a 30-day notice period to cancel the contract … now that makes sense

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  4. Dumbest move I have seen to date? Good for AT&T bad for the Consumer. Whats’s a SIM card cost anyways. Come on.

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  5. good move – will have contract option in pay-as-go mode — should get instant hit

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  6. My ONLY reason for replacing my phones in the past has been to replace the failing BATTERY! With the new phones came a battery that usually lasts as long as the contract (2 years). Since I believe I have received very good service, I have not minded the 2-years contract extension. I’ve been with TMOB the past 10 years. Anyway, the addition of color, camera, ring tones, speakerphone and BlueTooth have been icing on the cake; I would not have bought the phones just because of these features.

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  7. [...] contract. We offer a special bonus of the Third Pipe Foil Hat Award to all takers! (article on GigaOm) Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and [...]

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  8. [...] contract. We offer a special bonus of the Third Pipe Foil Hat Award to all takers! (article on GigaOm) Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and [...]

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  9. [...] contract. We offer a special bonus of the Third Pipe Foil Hat Award to all takers! (article on GigaOm) Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and [...]

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  10. The thing is, lots of iPhone customers did the same thing. They bought an iPhone, signed a 2 year agreement, and got no hardware subsidy.

    I can’t blame AT&T for watching this and thinking they ought to at least try it.

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