AT&T said to be ditching two-year contracts beginning January 8, 2016 [Update]

AT&T contracts

T-Mobile has been gradually pushing the idea of device payment plans for a little while now, making the other wireless carriers rethink those lengthy contracts.

And it’s working, apparently. Back in August of this year, beginning with Verizon Wireless, the Big Red carrier announced that it would be ending two-year contract offers for its smartphones. Then, later in the same month, Sprint made the same announcement for its smartphones. AT&T, for its part, remained silent on the matter.

And it still is, as the latest information was gathered by an internal document released to AT&T employees earlier this morning, and originally reported by Engadget. The document outlines that AT&T is indeed ditching two-year contracts for all of its phones, and that the change will take effect beginning January 8, 2016. Once that date rolls around, and any day after that, new and upgrading AT&T subscribers will not be able to sign up for a two-year contract — even if they want to upgrade to another one after the current one ends.

AT&T ditching contracts2

As mentioned, this goes for all of AT&T’s phones. That means that Quick Messaging Devices (QMD), which are non-smartphones that have keyboards, as well as the flip phones the Big Blue carrier still offers, will only be available if purchased outright or with an AT&T Next installment plan. However, it’s not known if this change will cover wearables and tablets, all of which are heavily marketed with two-year contracts attached.

Update: AT&T has gone ahead and confirmed the end of two-year contracts under the Big Blue umbrella, as reported by PhoneScoop:

“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,” said AT&T in an email to Phonescoop. “Starting January 8, AT&T Next will be the primary way to get a new smartphone at AT&T. This does not apply to business customers under a qualified wireless service agreement.”

Are you still attached to a two-year contract?

[via Engadget]