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AT&T extends wait for to upgrade phone

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By The Associated Press
Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

AT&T is extending from 20 months to 24 months the time it takes for customers on contract-based plans to earn a fully subsidized upgrade to a new phone.

The move, announced on Sunday, follows an identical one by Verizon Wireless in April. AT&T Inc.'s new policy applies to any customer whose contract expires in March 2014 or later.

Extending the time between phone upgrades will save the phone companies money, since they subsidize each new phone by hundreds of dollars to make it available to customers for $199 or less. AT&T executives had said they planned to rein in spending on phone upgrades this year.

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