Are there downsides to the new model? Potentially. The new plans are often more complex. The major carriers now have a plethora of shared (or family) data and device plans. Each plan offers a number of options, and figuring out which one is right can be a challenge for new customers. The old, one-size-fits-all system was easy to understand, even if it wasn't ideal. And customers now pay full price for their phones, even if the costs do balance out in the end.
Overall, if you're willing to do a bit of homework, chances are the new system is better for you than a contract and phone subsidy.
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