Effective October 3, 2010, upgrade pricing for Smartphones will increase from the two-year commitment price plus $75 to the two-year price plus $200. The example used on an internal document obtained by BGR has the Blackberry Torch would carry a $399 early upgrade price ($199 two year price pluse $200). According to AT&T this still represents a savings of $100 off the non-commitment price of $499.
The justification for this change; "As smartphones become increasingly more sophisticated, the cost of these devices has also increased.". Smartphones are becoming more sophisticated and capable, but a 166% increase?
The new policy doesn't apply to iPhones or basic/quick messaging phones. No word as of yet if the new Windows Phone 7 devices will be exempt or not.