AT&T Hits Back at T-Mobile with Up to $450 in Credits for Switchers

Over the past year, att_t-mobile_logosT-Mobile US has been shaking up the U.S. carrier market with its "Un-carrier" plans, the addition of the iPhone to its device lineup, and a frequent device upgrade program, enticing several other major carriers to make changes to their own services to align with T-Mobile's offerings.

Going beyond recent moves to uncouple device and service costs as T-Mobile has done, AT&T today announced that it is offering up to $450 in credits for customers switching to the carrier from T-Mobile. The offer consists of two parts: up to $250 for trading in their current smartphone as part of the carrier's usual trade-in plan and an additional $200 for transferring their wireless service to AT&T.

Beginning Jan. 3, under the limited-time offer, T-Mobile customers who switch to AT&T can trade-in their current smartphone for a promotion card of up to $250, which can be used toward AT&T products and services. Trade-in values will vary based on make, model and age of the smartphone, but many of the latest and most popular smartphones will qualify for a value of $250. T-Mobile customers can receive an additional $200 credit per line when they transfer their wireless service to AT&T and choose an AT&T NextSM plan, buy a device at full retail price or activate a device they currently own.

Last month, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson noted that the long-standing U.S. wireless business model of carriers providing device subsidies in exchange for service contracts is no longer economically feasible. By uncoupling device costs from service, carriers believe they can offer customers more flexibility when it comes to deciding about device upgrades while still allowing customers to spread out their significant hardware costs through payment plans.

Following last year's series of Un-carrier announcements from T-Mobile, the company is set to announce the next stage of its program next week at CES. Details have yet to surface, but hints and rumors have suggested that the carrier may be making some changes to encourage family plan users to switch carriers, perhaps through subsidizing early termination fees imposed by other carriers.

The future of T-Mobile does, however, remain up in the air, as parent company Deutsche Telekom has been looking to exit the U.S. market. Following a failed attempt by AT&T to acquire T-Mobile US in 2011, Sprint has been reported to be mulling its own offer for T-Mobile that could allow the combined carrier to rival the much larger Verizon and AT&T.

Update: In an email to Re/code, T-Mobile CEO John Legere calls AT&T's new offer a "desperate move".

“This is a desperate move by AT&T on the heels of what must have been a terrible Q4 and holiday for them,” Legere said in an e-mail to Re/code. “Consumers won’t be fooled… nothing has changed, customers will still feel the same old pain that AT&T is famous for. Just wait until CES to hear what pain points we are eliminating next. The competition is going to be toast!” [...]

“We used AT&T’s cash to build a far superior network and added ‘un-carrier’ moves to take tons of their customers – and now they want to bribe them back,” Legere said. “I’m flattered that we have made them so uncomfortable!”

Update 2: T-Mobile has published a similar version of Legere's statement.

Top Rated Comments

Codyak Avatar
92 months ago
Go go T-Mobile, keep shaking things up. :D
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DipDog3 Avatar
92 months ago
As a long term AT&T customer, I would have switched to T-Mobile a long time ago if I could get decent coverage.

The $450 credit for customers is a very bad deal. You have to hand in your old smartphone for only $250 & buy another from AT&T at full price using their Next program. It would be cheaper if you just kept your old smartphone. AT&T will always find a way to screw you over.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Moshe1010 Avatar
92 months ago
New customers have to sign for mobile share plan at AT&T (this is the only option AT&T offers for new contracts).
2GB Data + Unlimited talk and text = $95 before taxes. Compare it to $50 from T-Mobile. That's $45X24 months (contract) = $1080 - $450 credit = $630 or $315 loss per year for this move (pre tax).

Every additional smartphone adds $40 to the plan and shares this 2GB, unlike T-Mobile where you get additional line with 2GB data for $40 (goes down by $10 for each additional line).
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ghettochris Avatar
92 months ago
FU att, how about a good deal for your current subscribers? line better pricing for out of contract plans, rollover data, etc.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Windlasher Avatar
92 months ago
Fail...

Seems like too little too late... I guess no one is falling for the family shared plan. It actually would have raised our rates and given us less data.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mpantone Avatar
92 months ago

T-Mobile plans seem great, but I think people are in for a rude awakening when they start upgrading their phones all the time and end up being broke.

Nah, we're good.

Some of us can actually do math, figure out TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) during the research stage.

:D
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

cook cbs this morning

CBS This Morning: Apple to Make 'Big Announcement' Tomorrow Morning

Tuesday January 12, 2021 8:46 am PST by
CBS This Morning today shared a short clip of an upcoming interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook in which addressing last week's events at the U.S. Capitol, with Cook saying "it's key that people be held accountable for it." Following the clip, Gayle King of CBS noted that the interview with Cook was not specifically arranged to address the current controversy over Parler and other repercussions, ...
ipad pro 2021 mysmartprice cad

Allegedly Leaked 2021 iPad Pro CAD Images Suggest Few Design Changes

Tuesday January 12, 2021 3:38 am PST by
Tech blogs 91mobile and MySmartPrice on Tuesday posted a series of allegedly leaked factory CAD images of Apple's upcoming fifth-generation 11-inch iPad Pro. Rumors suggest Apple plans to announce two new iPad Pro models in both 11-inch and 12.9-inch versions, and today's images offer perhaps the clearest indication yet that Apple's next-generation iPad Pros will have minimal, if any,...
prototype iphone 12 pro

Prototype iPhone 12 Pro Shown Off in Photos

Wednesday January 13, 2021 3:39 pm PST by
Developer Giulio Zompetti, who often shows off prototype versions of Apple devices, today highlighted a prototype version of the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro is running an operating system called SwitchBoard, a nonUI version of the iOS 14 update that Apple uses internally. We've seen SwitchBoard on prototype devices before, as Apple uses it to test new features. Zompetti's prototype...
find my app safari post

Safari Allows Users to Enable Hidden 'Items' Tab in 'Find My' App Ahead of AirTags Launch

Wednesday January 13, 2021 5:45 am PST by
As seen in screenshots obtained by MacRumors in 2019, Apple's long-rumored AirTags items trackers are expected to be managed through the Find My app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Now, any user can get an early look at this tab. MacRumors reader David Chu today alerted us that the hidden "Items" tab in the Find My app can be enabled on an iPhone or iPad by typing in the link findmy://items in...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
mac anti reflective coating issue

Apple's Anti-Reflective Coating Repair Program Still in Effect for Some MacBooks With New Mail-In Policy

Tuesday January 12, 2021 10:07 am PST by
In an internal memo obtained by MacRumors, Apple recently informed its network of Apple Authorized Service Providers that mail-in repair is now required for Mac notebooks with anti-reflective coating issues in the United States. The new policy went into effect January 4, 2021 and means that customers who take an eligible 12-inch MacBook or MacBook Pro exhibiting this issue to an Apple...
pioneer carplay wc5700nex

The Best Apple-Related Accessories at CES 2021

Wednesday January 13, 2021 1:16 pm PST by
CES 2021 is taking place digitally this year, and it hasn't been as exciting as in past years because many vendors have opted out. That said, some companies are still showing off some interesting Apple-related accessories that are coming out this year and that will be of interest to Mac, iPad, and iPhone users. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Pioneer Wireless...
Hue module dimmer switch

Philips Hue Announces New Wall Switch Module, Dimmer Switch, and Outdoor Light Bar

Thursday January 14, 2021 3:11 am PST by
Philips Hue has announced a new wireless dimmer switch module that lets Hue bridge owners directly control the smart lighting from their standard wall switches. The new Philips Hue wall switch module is the ideal addition to any Philips Hue set up. Installed behind existing light switches, it allows users to turn their existing switch into a smart switch and ensures their smart lighting is...
whatsapp wallpapers 1

WhatsApp Affirms User Privacy Following Backlash Over Data Sharing With Facebook

Tuesday January 12, 2021 6:39 am PST by
Following backlash after changing its terms and privacy policy to consolidate a significant amount of data sharing with Facebook, WhatsApp is now assuring users about the privacy measures built into its app. Last week, WhatsApp began informing users of updates to the app's terms of service and privacy policy. The updated agreements, which users must consent to in order to continue using...
apple racial equity justice initiative propel center render 01132021

Apple Launches New Nationwide Racial Equity and Justice Initiative Projects

Wednesday January 13, 2021 4:08 am PST by
Apple today announced a set of new projects as part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) to help dismantle systemic barriers to opportunity and combat injustices faced by communities of color. Rendering of the Propel Center The projects include the Propel Center, a global innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), an Apple ...