>> you don't get cheaper service if you have a phone that you paid full price for.
> 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