AT&T is reportedly doing away with subsidized tablet pricing meaning you’ll have to pay full price if you purchase a slate through the wireless carrier. The decision comes a month or so after Verizon essentially did the same thing with their line of tablets and netbooks.
The Verge confirmed the news with two AT&T store reps and it is believed that the decision was driven by AT&T’s Mobile Share plans which lets customers add tablets to their shared data plan for $10 more each month. Subsidized tablets were never really seen as a good deal simply because users had to agree to a lengthy mobile data contract where rates are still rather expensive.
If you aren’t planning to use your tablet on a shared data plan, you’ll be saving around $5 each month on a tablet data plan since there won’t be a subsidy to cope with. As such, new data pricing is as follows: 250MB for $14.99, 3GB for $30 and 5GB for $50.
Of course, this news likely won’t have a huge impact at this point seeing as AT&T only offers a limited selection of tablets. Aside from the iPad which was never available under subsidy pricing, the only tablets currently on sale are the Pantech Element, the HTC Jetstream and a refurbished Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9. These slates are now priced at $399.99, $549.99 and $349.99, respectively.
The no-contract pricing reportedly goes into effect starting today and is already reflected on AT&T’s website.