Today in Mobile

AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega today said his company is focusing on carrying smartphones that will appeal to consumers but cost less in subsidies than most current handsets. That’s understandable, of course, given the enormous upfront cost associated with high-end, high-demand devices like the iPhone. But U.S. consumers grew accustomed to cheap handsets long ago, even if those phones aren’t really cheap — they come at the cost of lengthy contracts. So I think the only ways carriers will really make headway with devices that cost them less is to not require contracts or to package them with cheaper plans than the ones that come with highly subsidized smartphones.