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 oskeladden on Thu 17th Oct 2013 09:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
oskeladden
Member since:
2009-08-05

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.


That's because Norwegians are very rich, even by European standards. In the bit of Northern England where I currently live, people would leap at the chance of buying a fridge subsidised by their electric company, if such deals were available. The fact that carriers give you, in effect, a loan at a very low rate of interest to buy a phone makes high-quality phones available to people who'd otherwise not have been able to afford anything more sophisticated than a Nokia 100.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by Alfman on Thu 17th Oct 2013 13:02 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

oskeladden,

"That's because Norwegians are very rich, even by European standards. In the bit of Northern England where I currently live, people would leap at the chance of buying a fridge subsidised by their electric company, if such deals were available."

Don't your appliance vendors offer installment plans?

Bundling appliances to service providers is a terrible idea IMHO. Think about what it would mean to buy appliances under contract for a moment: your family wants one fridge, but your utilities company wants to sell you another. Also, the subsidies cannot be free, everyone will pay for them under the guise of higher electricity rates.

In the US this has always been the status quo for mobiles, but consider if they were separated we wouldn't have any nonsense with carrier locked phones nor proprietary vendor modifications, etc. You'd be able to get whatever phone you wanted with whatever plan you wanted, which isn't always possible under a subsidized phone plan. On top of all this phone service would likely be much cheaper since the carriers would be competing on service alone.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by olejon on Thu 17th Oct 2013 16:26 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
olejon Member since:
2012-08-12

You do have a point. I do however question if people should buy products in this price range if they can't afford to pay the full price. Houses and cars on the other hand... People buy tablets and laptops that are not subsidized, and I never see anyone complaining about not being able to lock themselves to a carrier to get the device cheaper.

As I mentioned, when living in Spain, I saw many flagships, and most of those come with a 2 year contract (not even legal in Norway AFAIK). In a country in crisis (it's not the only one, and more will come), I wonder how many end up not being able to pay it. But smartphones have a high priority these days, so many people probably end up selling their laptop instead.

Here in Norway you almost always end up paying more in total if you buy it subsidized.

And imagine tech sites without all that Verizon bla bla bla, AT&T bla bla bla, my plan, my contract, my family plan bla bla bla, etc ;-) So many discussions end up like that, just take a look at this one. And then there's of course the endless complaining about carriers not updating their devices.

Edited 2013-10-17 16:28 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2