TechBits: Cell phone pricing (05.15.13)

Anyone who's shopped for phones knows they can get discounted rates on the hardware if they take a contract. {}Those discounts are about to go away. {}Many phone companies are moving toward a model in which they charge full price for the phones up front, then offer reduced monthly rates.

Monthly rates had been high because the discounts were later paid off over the contract period.

With more expensive phones coming on the market, and more people switching more often, mobile providers simply can't sustain the pricing model they've used for years.

The changeover is expected to be gradual- but if you have your eye on a phone, it may be best to go ahead and get it now.