News by Andrew Kameka on Wednesday October 23, 2013.
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AT&T released its earnings report for the third quarter of 2013, and the carrier predictably had a strong sales period - so strong that 75 of every 100 customers own a smartphone. AT&T today revealed that it added 989,000 new customers, 363,000 of which were customers who signed-up for binding contracts. The increase of those new subscribers lead to smartphones accounting for 89 percent of sales during the quarter. The carrier added a total of 1.2 million smartphone subscribers and now has 50.6 million subscribers that have upgraded to a smartphone.
Smartphone buyers who haven't already signed a contract with AT&T will have fewer choices when joining the carrier. AT&T plans to phase out its traditional tiered data plans and offer only Mobile Share plans. Mobile Share allows customers to pay for a single pot of data that can be spread across multiple devices, but even new individual accounts will require Mobile Share. Customers will end up paying more in some instances because AT&T removed the flexibility of feature options that allowed customers to save money by getting fewer monthly talk, text, and data allotments. Here's a breakdown of Mobile Share costs.
Mobile Share plans, of which 5.3 million customers have after one year of availability, will be required of all new customers beginning Friday, October 25, 2013. Current customers can continue to use their existing plans and they will still be able to upgrade to a new device and retain their existing plan. The Mobile Share requirement is only for customers who sign up after tomorrow.
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.