AT&T to raise ETF on smartphones, lower ETF on feature phones

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that AT&T will raise the early termination fee on its line of smartphones from $175 to $325 starting June 1st. The move is inline with adjustments made by Verizon Wireless to their ETF policy last November. The math is pretty simple: a BlackBerry 9700 at retail is $449 — if you buy the phone for $199 with new 2-year contract, then cancel for $175, you’ve just paid $374.  Under the new scheme your price, with penalty, would be $524 ($75 over retail in this example). The new ETF will not apply to existing contracts, just those of you who are inking new 2-year deals with the Death Star. They news isn’t all bad [yes it is], as the WSJ went onto say that feature phone ETFs will shrink by $25 to $150. What do you think? Is this higher smartphone ETF going to dissuade anyone from putting their name on another AT&T contract?

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