The carriers in the US just seem to be battling with prices and upgrade rewards lately, and the latest offer extends this further. Starting last year, AT&T decided to start charging customers $15 to upgrade to a new phone that was purchased outright and now to keep up with Verizon it has been increased to $20. Droid Life noted this change a few days ago.
How does this work?
This charge is implemented when a current AT&T customer brings their phone to the network and wants to use it, whether it was purchased using AT&T’s Next program (which allows customers to upgrade early), Apple’s Device Upgrade or purchased outright.
Most of the carriers in the US are now implementing this charge to customers, but the only carrier which doesn’t is T-Mobile.