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In the US almost all phones are subsidized with contracts.
you don't get cheaper service if you have a phone that you paid full price for.
many phones are unable to work on competing sytems
Canonical to demonstrate Ubuntu on phones
Posted Jan 2, 2013 22:12 UTC (Wed) by shmerl (guest, #65921)
Posted Jan 3, 2013 6:54 UTC (Thu) by frazier (guest, #3060)
Posted Jan 5, 2013 23:39 UTC (Sat) by liam (subscriber, #84133)
Posted Jan 2, 2013 22:32 UTC (Wed) by drago01 (subscriber, #50715)
WTF? That makes zero sense.
> many phones are unable to work on competing sytems
Well the CDMA/GSM thing is a technical issue.
Posted Jan 2, 2013 23:47 UTC (Wed) by cwillu (subscriber, #67268)
Posted Jan 3, 2013 6:48 UTC (Thu) by frazier (guest, #3060)
They offer SIMs for T-Mobile, AT&T, and unlocked GSM phones. The CDMA option at top is there to notify you that "This program is not available with CDMA (i.e. Verizon, Sprint, Metro PCS), TracFone, SafeLink, NET10, Straight Talk or BlackBerry phones.":
Posted Jan 3, 2013 13:16 UTC (Thu) by drago01 (subscriber, #50715)
Posted Jan 3, 2013 22:09 UTC (Thu) by fdrs (subscriber, #85858)
Posted Jan 3, 2013 2:23 UTC (Thu) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
> WTF? That makes zero sense.
It makes perfect sense for the carriers (they get more money)
it makes sense for users because they don't see it as a phone subsidy, they see it as 'getting a free phone"
but any way you look at it, same price for service with a carrier provided phone or a phone you purchase independently is the reality in the US.
As such, there is a significant disincentive to using an unlocked phone, you have to pay full price for the phone and get no discount off of your monthly bill.
from another comment T-Mobile is starting to buck this trend, and there are a growing number of prepaid options that don't care what phone you use (and are happier if you use your own), but they are still currently exceptions
Posted Jan 3, 2013 9:35 UTC (Thu) by khim (subscriber, #9252)
The whole thing works only because prices for mobile connection in US are exorbitant to begin with. My monthly mobile phone bill was under $10/month for years. Now I've gotten smartphone and with "unlimited" Internet (which is severely limited if I go beyong 1GB/month, of course) I pay $25/month (for voice and data: $10 for voice and $15 for "unlimited" data).
It's not possible to hide phone subsidies with prices like that. That's why most of the world pay for the phone upfront while in US (and some other countries) people pay 3-4 times more and think they use "free phone".
Sadly most affluent buyers are gated by carriers thus carriers still can control the future of mobile handsets. Only middle-range phones are created for carrier-uncontrolled world (think Dual-SIM phones).
Posted Jan 3, 2013 16:27 UTC (Thu) by shmerl (guest, #65921)
Posted Jan 5, 2013 14:50 UTC (Sat) by khim (subscriber, #9252)
N9 is high end, and is carrier uncontrolled.
N9 is the exception that proves the rule: it was designed by a company with excellent relationship with non-US carriers but at the time when it was actually presented these relationships deteriorated.
That happens (see Palm, RIM, etc), you are correct. I admit my mistake: I only think about somewhat sustainable trends, when some company finds the seed money do develop something only to fail in marketplace these rules don't apply, obviously.
Same story would be with Jolla handset for sure.
If I understand correctly Jolla works with Chinese carriers. We'll see how much what it does will be influenced by them.
Posted Jan 3, 2013 13:22 UTC (Thu) by drago01 (subscriber, #50715)
Sure but it isn't needed any one of them can start to stop doing this and have an advantage over the competition (like t mobile is apparently doing now). So this should fix itself over time.
> it makes sense for users because they don't see it as a phone subsidy, they see it as 'getting a free phone"
They are just naive .. there is no such thing as a "free phone".
> As such, there is a significant disincentive to using an unlocked phone, you have to pay full price for the phone and get no discount off of your monthly bill.
For someone that is used to a more sane environment where such nonsense does not exits (ex. me) this really sounds odd.
Posted Jan 4, 2013 13:24 UTC (Fri) by wookey (subscriber, #5501)
> They are just naive .. there is no such thing as a "free phone".
It has been my experience over many years that most people prefer a fixed monthly charge over a large upfront cost and low monthly cost even when the former version costs a great deal more over any period longer than about a year.
This seems really odd to me, but it's true.
Posted Jan 4, 2013 17:49 UTC (Fri) by shmerl (guest, #65921)
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