Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 16th Oct 2013 09:48 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

I think many who extol Android's flexibility fall into the tinkerer category, including some tech bloggers. They love all the ways they can customize their phones, not because they're seeking some perfect setup, but because they can swap in a new launcher every week. That's fun for them; but they've made the mistake of not understanding how their motivation differs from the rest of us.

A whopping 70%-80% of the world's smartphone owners have opted for Android over iOS. You could easily argue that 3-4 years ago, when Android was brand new, that it was for early adopters and tinkerers. To still trot out this ridiculous characterisation now that Android is on the vast majority of smartphones sold is borderline insanity.

Choice is not Android's problem. People who assume out of a misplaced arrogance that they represent the average consumer are the problem.

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RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by mkone on Wed 16th Oct 2013 23:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
mkone
Member since:
2006-03-14

As a Norwegian, I have really never understood the close connection between carrier and cell phone in many countries. How have the carriers been able to manipulate the people to think that they must buy their phone subsidized? People don't buy other products in the same price range subsidized. Do they buy their TV from their cable company subsidized? No. Do they buy their toaster subsidized from their electric company? No.


It's simple really.

Carriers can provide interest free loans to buy a phone. And there really isn't any economic benefit to getting your cellular service separately. You won't get the cellular service cheaper. Perversely, because you are more likely to jump between carriers, you are worth less as a customer, so they charge you more.

I recently lost a phone (an iPhone) and when I was looking into getting one on contract vs buying one direct from Apple, I realised that:
- A provider was willing to effectively sell the phone to me at the same price as Apple, and
- They are willing to give me lower tariffs than they would if I got a sim only contract.

I think the reasoning is actually quite simple - when you get from a mobile service provider, they get a profit from selling you the phone, and some profit from providing you the service.

Buy your phone separately, and the second tends to be higher.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by woegjiub on Thu 17th Oct 2013 00:53 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
woegjiub Member since:
2008-11-25

Australia is somewhere between the two in terms of possibilities, but people still flock to the carriers.

I can get 1GB data with unlimited SMS and 500 minutes of calls from my ISP for $20AUD/Mo, as an optus reseller.

There are other optus resellers who offer plans just as cheaply, but people still seem to flock to the major carriers.
The same plan on Telstra or Optus costs 3 times as much, but add $10 for handset repayments and insurance, and people pick it over dropping $100-500 on an uninsured fragile device.

Then, you get the (large numbers of) people who are still using prepaid for some inexplicable reason. I honestly get people buying $10 of credit multiple times within the same month at work, when a $10/$20 plan would give them $200 worth of prepaid value.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by darknexus on Thu 17th Oct 2013 01:34 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

It's simple really.

Carriers can provide interest free loans to buy a phone. And there really isn't any economic benefit to getting your cellular service separately.

Actually, there is but you have to shop around for a good MVNO as I've described above. I pay far less now than I did on contract with a major carrier, and far less than I would now if I wanted to go back to a contract. Granted it's still far more than what some European countries' residents will pay for an even better plan, but it's a good rate for the states. Funnily enough, my MVNO service is far more reliable than my contracted service ever was, even though they both run off the same major network and my contract was with said major network directly.
There is one other thing to consider where the US is concerned. We have two major GSM networks and two major CDMA networks. Our CDMA uses internal sims, and the carriers can pretty much dictate that market since most manufacturers won't sell unlocked CDMA devices in this market as it's not worth it. Now, to the GSM situation: AT&T and T-Mobile, our two GSM-based networks, do not use the same WCDMA frequencies for HSPA+, though they do share some LTE frequencies. T-Mobile follows the European standard frequencies while AT&T does not. Not all phones sold are equipped to handle all frequencies, so people will go to the carrier because if they buy the phone from the carrier it will be guaranteed to work properly. Note that all GSM phones will work for voice calls and 2g/edge on both networks, just not necessarily 3g or LTE. Not really a problem for most parts of Europe.
edit: Provide clarification.

Edited 2013-10-17 01:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2