AT&T is making a move next week to attract customers who use smartphones that are not under a wireless service contract.
The carrier announced Thursday that starting Dec. 8, customers with off-contract smartphones can choose a "no annual service contract" option that will lower the price of their monthly Mobile Share Value service plan by $15.
Users can get the option if they are paying for their device through the AT&T Next early-upgrade plan, if they bring their own smartphone to use with AT&T's service, or if their smartphone is no longer under contract.
The new option comes as a response to T-Mobile and Sprint, which offer similar plans to those who use off-contract smartphones.
Recently, more customers have begun to pay for devices at full retail price, in order to get cheaper plans and to be able to buy new devices without having to wait two years for a subsidized upgrade from their carrier.
As a result, more phone makers are beginning to offer devices at unsubsidized prices, which typically run more than $600. Buying a smartphone with a service contract usually costs about $200 upfront.
But with phone makers such as Motorola selling devices such as the $179 off-contract Moto G, it's becoming less expensive for customers to buy their devices outright.
AT&T said it is also offering a new option in its AT&T Next plan under which customers can pay less per month for their device if they're willing to wait an extra six months before they can upgrade to a new phone.
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