Now it's fiscally irresponsible to have a subsidized device over paying full price for an item and still having the same exact bill? The argument that you can cancel at any time is foolish if you have no intention of canceling. I was with AT&T for 5.25 years but you think it would have been more fiscally responsible if I had never had a subsidized phone?
Sometimes better deals are available on prepaid plans from the same carriers. I know Verizon and T-Mobile have cheaper prepaid rates when compared with their contract + subsidy rates. I do wish phones were completely interchangeable between carriers. An unlocked AT&T phone still won't work on Verizon.
Even if you are an AT&T customer it's cheaper to buy the iPad outright, add a month-to-month data plan than it is to use this subsidized model. You save $200+ over the same 2 year period using any plan. And you have the luxury of saving more. There maybe some months where you may not need to have LTE and can choose to shut it off.
If your on contract you don't have the luxury to shut off service.
Come on cattle - I mean people. Think.
To clarify this is only for those who are not on the new "Shared Data Plans" that AT&T are offering. If you already are on a shared data plan, it is cheaper to take advantage of this subsidized pricing as you will only be paying an additional $10/month to access the same pool of data.
However if you are not, changing to the new shared data plan may result in an increase in your bill. I'm not going to go through the math - it's been prove on Macrumors, Gizmodo, and TUAW - just google it and you will see for yourself. After adding 3 or more devices savings can be appreciated. But initially, there is a price increase.
Regarding the bolded portion, there's no reason to resort to that just to make your point. An explanation is sufficient. You're suggesting that the full terms present a different picture than what is described in the article here. I wasn't interested in this offer either way, so it doesn't matter to me enough to look up the full terms of service. It sounded like this was available to anyone, including those without AT&T phone service, and it did not specify whether the device would be carrier locked. If it's just $240 over 2 years of service compared to $140, that is a different concept than what you're suggesting. If it interested me enough, I would've already looked up their full terms. On phone subsidies, it's only really cheaper to buy outright when month to month plans are available at lower costs over the same time period. That is becoming more frequent. It's a big point of growth here. I've been looking at it, as I don't upgrade phones frequently at all.