as an insider in the cell industry I must retort the previous responses. GSM is an inferior technolgy to CDMA in many way. once 3G is available in the US it may rival or even surpass CDMA/EVDO but for the time bein in the US CDMA is the superior tech. the primary reason that CDMA phones are more expensive is that Qualcom ( the Sole provider of CDMA chipsets ) requires royalties for all handsets made with thier tech. thus why Nokia has recently announced their plans to pull out of CDMA. CDMA is awesome but both the towers and the phones are both more advanced and more expensive to produce than GSM phones. thus manufactureres like Motorola and Nokia have place a greater emphasis on GSM as they look at the world wide ma... (continues)
Practically speaking, if you use a cell phone as a communications tool, there's no observable difference between CDMA and GSM. If you use your cell phone as an entertainment device, (and don't mind being locked-in to your cell carrier for content), CDMA currently has an edge (no pun intended).
I disagree that GSM will eventually emerge as the standard. GSM already *IS* the worldwide standard. The only places I've been where GSM is not supported is Japan and South Korea.
As for discounts, it's easy to explain why GSM phones are offered at larger discounts when you understand that CDMA carriers enforce monopoly distribution rights on their equipment. You cannot buy an unlocked or generic CDMA phone and then activate it with Verizon ... (continues)