Linked by snydeq on Wed 6th Jan 2010 20:08 UTC
Google InfoWorld's Galen Gruman writes that the main potential game-changing attribute of the Nexus One - that Google is selling the device direct - does nothing to move the industry past carrier lock-in. "At first, I wanted to credit Google for making a tentative step in the direction of smartphone freedom. But that step is so tentative and ineffectual that frankly I think it's a cynical fig leaf covering the usual practices," Gruman writes. At issue is a political battle regarding walled gardens in the U.S. cellular market, a fight that will take years to result in any true consumer freedom. "The only way we'll ever get the ability to choose a smartphone and carrier independently is for the platform providers that count - Apple, Google, and RIM - to first develop only multiband 'world' smartphones and then refuse to sell their devices (or in Google's case, use its Android license to forbid the sale of devices) to carriers that block or interfere with device portability."
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RE[2]: The title says it all...
by doctor on Thu 7th Jan 2010 04:51 UTC in reply to "RE: The title says it all..."
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The carrier's position is that without such a feature on the phone, a customer could purchase a $600-$700 phone at $199 (with a 2-year contract that pays off the subsidy), and simply drop the service and move to another carrier without paying.

I don't see why this is a problem, and it's exactly how it works in Australia. The carrier won't lose money out of you doing that, because dropping their service doesn't magically mean you can breach the contract and not pay the the rest of the money, which is going to be more then the difference in phone cost. Carriers will agree to break contract with you for a fee somewhere between the remaining cost difference and the full amount, so they make a small amount from you breaking contract.

Maybe there's something (else) weird about the US and phone services, but I don't see how you could just break your contract with no penalty, and lead to a loss of money for the carrier.

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