There are NO "subsidies". What there has been is a hidden, often mandatory loan from the carrier to pay for the phone over the life of the contract (e.g. AT&T's iPhone contracts during their period of exclusivity).
Separating the phone price and the service price is a good thing. But before AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson claims all the credit for this shift he needs to remember that he wasn't the one that instigated it - that was T-Mobile's John Legere.