AT&T offers $200 bill credit for new and existing customers who choose Next plan

In a last-gasp effort to boost its second-quarter subscriber and smartphone sales numbers, AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) said customers can get a $200 bill credit when they buy a smartphone through its Next equipment installment plan and activate a new line of service. The offer applies to both new and existing customers--but the two-day only deal ends today.

The offer also comes with some fine print. Customers will get the bill credit within three billing cycles as long as they remain in good standing.   

Meanwhile, AT&T also said customers can get a 16 GB iPad mini 2 for $149 after buying a new iPhone on AT&T Next and the iPad Mini 2 on a two-year contract. Customers can pare the two promotions together. AT&T normally sells the iPad Mini 2 for $330 with a two-year contract.

Though analysts said earlier this month that AT&T would focus more on improving churn than on promotions, that does not appear to have stopped AT&T from launching these as the second quarter comes to a close. According to a research note earlier this month from Jefferies analysts Mike McCormack, Scott Goldman and Tudor Mustata, AT&T "remains focused on maintaining profitability and low churn versus using pricing and promotions to maintain subscriber market share." The note came after a meeting Jefferies held with AT&T CFO John Stephens, AT&T Mobility CEO Glenn Lurie and Bill Smith, AT&T's president of technology operations.

AT&T has lost several hundred thousand postpaid feature phone customers the last two quarters, and its strategy implies that it will not spend a lot of money to hold on to marginally-attached customers; it will instead focus on maintaining and winning over more lucrative postpaid smartphone customers. 

For more:
- see this AT&T page
- see this CNET article
- see this Phone Dog article

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