The phones don't have the latest and greatest cameras, screens, and chips—so they aren't good for filming 4K videos or connecting to wireless networks at super-fast speeds.
"Value phones are one of the fastest growing segments in our portfolio," Andy Smoak, AT&T's assistant vice president for device product marketing, says.
Since the wireless Carriers eliminated subsidies on smartphone purchases , the rate of customers upgrading have plummeted to record lows this year.
There was a minor boost earlier this year with the release of Samsung's new Galaxy S8 line, but still only about 5% to 7% of customers upgraded in the second quarter at the four major carriers.
"Cost is impacting their decision-making," AT&T (t) CFO John Stephens told analysts about the low upgrade rate on last month's quarterly results call, saying "It's made it their pocketbook decision."
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