AT&T to Stop Offering Two-Year Phone Contracts Starting January 8

Starting on January 8, 2016, AT&T plans to introduce a „pricing simplification effort“ that will see the end of device subsidies and two-year contracts. According to an internal training document shared by Engadget, new and existing AT&T customers will only be able to purchase a smartphone at full price or with an AT&T Next payment plan going forward.

As outlined in the document, the new rules apply to all of the phones that AT&T sells, including smartphones and more basic devices, which will be paid for using new installment plans. More information on how AT&T will handle corporate accounts and non-smartphone devices like tablets and wearables will become available after an official announcement from AT&T, but it appears certain corporate users will be able to continue making two-year contract purchases.

The shift away from two-year contracts and iPhone subsidies began with T-Mobile in 2013, when the company introduced its Un-carrier payment plans uncoupling device costs from plan costs. Verizon followed suit in August of 2015, debuting new smartphone rate plans and eliminating its subsidized two-year contract option for new users.

Existing Verizon customers can still renew their two-year contracts, but AT&T’s no-contract implementation is more extreme and will not offer existing customers the option to keep their contracts once they expire.

AT&T has already been working on shifting away from two-year contracts by pushing its Next plans. In June of 2015, AT&T forced Apple and other third-party retailers to remove the option to purchase AT&T phones with a two-year contract, leaving customers with AT&T Next or a full-priced smartphone as their only third-party purchase options.

Update: AT&T has confirmed its plans to stop offering two-year contracts in a statement given to Re/code.

„With $0 down for well-qualified customers, the ability to upgrade early and down-payment options available with even lower monthly installments, our customers are overwhelmingly choosing AT&T Next,“ AT&T told Re/code. „Starting January 8, AT&T Next will be the primary way to get a new smartphone at AT&T.“

Tag: AT&T
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PIQ and Rossignol Launch Ski Sensor to Track Performance on Slopes

PIQ has partnered with Rossignol to create a new version of its multi-sport sensor for tracking skiing performance on the slopes (via Engadget). The 13-axis ski sensor attaches to a ski boot and allows skiers to record runs, analyze turns, challenge friends, track best speeds and more.

It can then measure stats like edge-to-edge speed, G-force and carving angle, while giving freestyle skiers air time, G-force at landing, rotation and more. As with other PIQ models, you can check stats immediately from your Android or iOS smartphone via Bluetooth, but if you don’t carry a phone during mogul practice, it’ll store the data for later.

PIQ sells a package with the sensor and Rossignol ski accessory for €149, or the €49 ski accessory can be purchased separately for those that already own a PIQ sensor. The products can be pre-ordered until January 12, 2016 and will ship in February before general public availability.

Rossignol’s companion Ski Pursuit app is free on the App Store for iPhone [Direct Link].

Tags: App Store, Rossignol, PIQ
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Google’s mind-bending quantum computer actually works

A major breakthrough from Google’s quantum-computing team could eventually lead to artificial-intelligence systems complex enough to make sci-fi nerds lose sleep in fear of the robot apocalypse. The breakthrough sounds simple, but it has massive implications: The quantum computer the team co-operates with NASA actually works. And not only does it work, but it can […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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T-Mobile offering $200 off 128GB iPhones to entice AT&T customers to switch

T-Mobile has announced that it will sell 128GB iPhones for the price of the 16GB models as part of its „Un-carrier Unwrapped“ holiday offer, aimed at customers who are willing to switch from AT&T. Read more…

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Ford adds Siri Eyes Free functionality to 5 million of its cars

The Apple Car may be a few years off, but a new deal signed between Ford and Apple is bringing Siri to 5 million more cars. According to a new report, a software update available today means that any Ford owners who bought a Ford car with SYNC functionality after 2011 can take advantage of […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Sony is bringing PlayStation 4 Remote Play to your Mac

Sony has revealed that it is developing an official PlayStation 4 Remote Play app for Mac and PC, giving gamers the ability to play their favorite titles on their desktop. The announcements comes just days after an unofficial Remote Play app was made available for Windows. “Some people asked if we plan to provide Remote Play function […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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