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AT&T Wants Device Subsidies to Be As Low As Possible

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Why not end subsidies?

kingstu

May 17, 2012, 3:06 PM
I know the consumers would revolt but just offering unlocked, unsubsidized devices would allow the carriers to focus on their networks. I don't have to buy a different TV if i want to switch between cable or satellite or fios.Let device manufactures make devices and allow the customer to choose the device and the network.
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Tofuchong

May 17, 2012, 3:38 PM
That will never happen. It makes too much sence, and it would be the right thing to do - which means it will never happen. Mad
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ELawson87

May 17, 2012, 4:17 PM
T-Mo is offering rate plans that are priced much lower becaue the customer pays retail for the phone, split up into a down payment and 20 monthly payments. So if you want a little flip phone, you barely pay anything, but if you want a high end smart phone, you pay more.

It's how I wish the wireless industry had always been, instead of subsidizing phone prices, which also has the effect of warping what customers think phones actually cost. If I had a dollar for every time a person said they didn't need insurance because "I only paid X dollars for it" I wouldn't need to work in wireless anymore.
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edzero

May 18, 2012, 2:31 PM
My only problem with this is that as it is people hate spending any kind of money on a phone. They want inexpensive.....except for those that actually know what they're buying. If we go to no subsidies and people are spending $400 to $600 for a phone, the manufacturer better make sure that phone won't be obsolete after a few months and it better be a quality product. Otherwise there'll be hell to pay
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Jayshmay

May 18, 2012, 4:46 AM
I read on Android Central that paying
full-retail will be the only way to keep
unlimited LTE data on Vzn going
forward after this family share data plan
is announced.

So better set a certain amount aside each month
for that Jelleybean Nexus smartphone
coming out later this year!!!
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dlmjr

May 18, 2012, 3:28 PM
Elimination of subsidies would keep cell phones out of the lower income peoples hands I gues.
Was that the intent?

If you don't want a subsidy, pay full retail.
At that point you have no cotract and as far as I know, most carriers will unlock a customer owned device if the account is current.

Your TV accepts possibly several types of imputs, but cell phones are small and the attempt to keep them small precludes the 'universal phone' that will run on any network.

So, the solution you are putting forth will eliminate the economically substandard from cellular service and require customers to plunk down $300 - $900 and the universal device will be the size of a bag phone so it will work on any network.
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T Bone

May 18, 2012, 4:28 PM
Many people today don't remember it but for many, many years there was a landline phone subsidy. When you set up phone service in your home or office, you got the phone directly from the phone company, and the phone was owned by the phone company and you paid a monthly 'rent' for it which was right there on your monthly bill. This was done because of the government phone monopoly.

In 1913, American Telephone and Telegraph was already the biggest phone company by a wide margin, and they also had a large part of the telegraph business. So the federal government made an agreement with the company, in exchange for agreeing to drop their telegraph service and for agreeing to provide phones to customers who cannot afford one to help spread ...
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JBlaze74

May 18, 2012, 4:55 PM
I like the idea and think it would work. However, would the carriers reduce their charges if they no longer subsidized the devices? Since there is a portion of subsidy payback rolled into the monthly service charges, as evidenced by the prorated ETF's, would the mothly bills decrease, or stay the same? If there is a "rental"fee on the monthly bill, would there be an ETF or would the device have to be returned if you cancelled early? Or would you see no upfront costs for the devices, but an increase in the monthly bills for the rental fee with no reduction in the current monthly service charges?
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T Bone

May 18, 2012, 10:03 PM
Under my proposal, there would be no contracts, the only 'early termination fee' would be whatever cost was leftover from the phone you bought, cancel your service before it is paid off and you become responsible for the whole amount immediately.
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NonBiasedRep

May 19, 2012, 8:52 AM
And you think there wont be a slew of scum that will sign up for the service (no contract mind you) get the phone cancle and sell it on ebay with no cost to them. The bad ruin it for everyone.
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T Bone

May 19, 2012, 12:32 PM
That happens right now already, contracts don't prevent it. However, getting rid of the connection between 'phone' and 'carrier' and making it easier to get phones through someone other than the carrier will arguably make it less likely that someone looking to run a scam will choose to do it by going through a carrier.


If you buy a phone and cancel your service you'll still have to pay for it...if you refuse to pay for the phone then you become subject to collections agencies, or legal prosecution or whatever....and the way to avoid people giving fake names or whatnot to make themselves untraceable is by enacting tougher laws on identity theft.

Another benefit to the carrier is that it will reduce churn. There are a lot of peop...
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