AT&T business customers can get a Samsung, Apple or other select smartphone for free with the purchase of a second eligible smartphone and a new line of service under a limited time promotion.
The two-for-one smartphone deal was announced by the company on Jan. 20 and includes popular phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S6, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active and Apple's iPhone 6S, according to AT&T. Under the offer, customers have to pay the full retail price for the first phone as well as all taxes and fees for both handsets. The offer is valid as an upgrade or new line for the first phone and must include a new line of service for the second device.
The two-for-one deal, which is available to eligible new and existing business customers, only applies to select new smartphones purchased on AT&T Next 24 installment plans, which allow customers to buy the devices interest-free over 30 months. Both the free and paid smartphones have to be activated on qualified voice and data plans with AT&T, including the company's Mobile Share Value Plan for Business, or they can be subject to individual AT&T Mobile Select plans, according to the terms of the offer. Business customers are also eligible for up to $650 in 30 monthly bill credits for the free phone.
Activation fees of up to $15 per line apply for the phones. The offer is invalidated if a customer returns one of the devices. AT&T has not announced when the two-for-one smartphone promotion will expire.
AT&T offered similar promotions to consumers on smartphones and tablets over the 2015 holiday shopping season.
Earlier in January, AT&T also began ramping up its efforts to get customers to also sign up for its DirecTV or U-Verse TV programming subscription services by offering them unlimited data on their AT&T mobile phone accounts so they can watch videos or TV shows anywhere.
The new AT&T Unlimited Plan starts at $100 monthly for the first smartphone, $40 each monthly for the next two smartphones on an account, and no charge for monthly service on a fourth smartphone, for a total of $180 per month for four family members, according to an earlier eWEEK story. Tablets can be added for $40 per month with unlimited data or for $10 a month for 1GB of data, while smartwatches can be added for $10 a month.
The unlimited data plans also include unlimited talk and texting. AT&T customers who sign up for a DirecTV or U-Verse account and combine their bills in one also save an additional $10 per month, according to AT&T.
Customers of other mobile phone carriers are eligible for $500 in credits per line if they also have a new or existing DirecTV or U-Verse TV account and switch to AT&T and a new Unlimited Plan when they buy a new phone and turn in an eligible trade-in, according to the company. Existing AT&T wireless customers who are not current DirecTV subscribers can add a TV package beginning at $19.99 per month for 12 months, with a 24-month contract. Sign-ups for the new offering are available for a limited time. The offer is not available to business customers.
AT&T said it will continue to offer similar combination deals to its customers throughout the year, as well as a wide range of other new video entertainment options for subscribers.
AT&T acquired DirecTV for $48.5 billion in July 2015 after having pursued the merger since May 2014, according to an earlier eWEEK story. In August 2015, AT&T began offering $500 in credits per line to DirecTV customers who transferred their mobile services over to AT&T from a competing carrier. AT&T's move to offer enhanced deals to bring over DirecTV customers to grow its own subscriber base was part of the company's vision for making the acquisition in the first place. The merger turned AT&T into a bigger player with its hands in more markets and a ready pool of new prospects to bring into its business coffers.