Its priced as a flagship phone, on par with the One X and several reviews and articles related to the One S, have suggested as such as both being a flagship phone for Tmob and HTCs pitch to stay relevant, or at least the One line. google tmobile and flagship and see whats returned.
I just dont really see data services pitched to the users to switch from a regular phone to a smartphone have any compelling reason to do so if they havent already. What have they been waiting for? 5g? holographic displays? possibly cheaper data rates cause they cant afford it, I wonder what the typical data usage is for a feature web enabled phone is on Tmobile. I bet its not much if at all. Its hard to call the handheld device market mature, but mobile device penetration is about 77% of people in the US, well behind alot of countries, percentage wise at least. we are ranked 16th in smartphone adoption rate with depending who you look at, is around ~35+ to 45+ % of mobile services. Will have to come to face the facts, there is just a large segment of a population that finds no need or are unwilling to pay for data services, which I can see, Im not sure if I was a phone sales man I could keep a straight face telling a family of 4 they cough up an extra $120+ s a month so everybody in the family can play angry birds. You could easily cough up a car payment a month providing a family with mobile internet, to me its a hard sell, while going after an entrenched user, one with disposable income one that already utilizes the network, a user that has been shown willing to adopt, willing to pay in the app game, why would you not willingly try to keep that user entrenched with you, reward them for utilizing that network and throw the dog a tech bone cause you know as they advance in ownership, they want that more feature rich device, and conversely try to pry those same willing customers away from other network with something other than the drumbeat that ATT and verizon battled out and ditched awhile ago from trying to claim they were the biggest. Just expect more, still waiting for more, just wonder where my patience ends, and Im not saying oh they will fail with out me, I know Im just a dot on a map of a lot of dots, and Im not thinking actually changing providers would do much for me, other than raise my bill, to move to what I think are more feature rich phones. I suppose you have to realize you can outgrow your provider if it no longer sees retention as a value add while it focuses on conversion of the unwilling. If you leave the back gate of your pen open as you pull sheep into the front gate they are running out the back. The herder will be standing in the middle wondering where all the sheep went. I guess Im just jealous of those they are going to bring in with the One S while I sit here twiddling my thumbs for something that I hear rumors and inuendo about but never see, kinda like when I thought tmob was gonna bring out the N900 and nothing ever happened with that. I thought it was neat, and Maemo died a tragic death. If I "invest" 2 more years of service, it wont be because of the One S, but I may switch because of it, Im just ready for a new phone, I see no compelling reason to upgrade, and since everybody seems to have the biggest and fastest, it wont matter which network I go to and opens more possibilities to weigh against of buying a used phone for any carrier, or starting over with a new subsidied phone from one of the big 3, I'll probably still hate it because I think its psychologically impossible not to hate your phone company.
I don't want to be rude, but I struggled through your last one-paragraph post to try and address all your points, but I'm afraid I can't do it again.
The absence of comment from anyone else probably indicates that a few paragraph breaks would greatly help. It's a shame because you obviously put some real effort into the post.
Here's what I was able to pick out:
I honestly think that a lot of the references to flagship status are inherited from the declared status of the HTC One line at HTC. The One S is getting some favorable references as fallout from the specs on the One X, and wouldn't be nearly so well received if it was the top of the line, rather than the One X.
While the subsidized pricing of the One S and One X are comparable, all that means is that TM are taking a smaller hit on the subsidy than their competitors. I've seen MSRP pricing for each varying anything from $30 to $130 between the two, so I do think that the One X is inherently treated as a superior device.
I must admit that the Google search you suggest does come up with many more references than the one I used ("T-Mobile flagship phones") which only pulled up three references to the One S across the first two pages of results.
Since TM are losing overall contract customers, but have been sharply increasing their overall number of smartphone users over the last year, I think it's safe to assume that they are having some success moving their traditional feature phone customer base over onto smartphones.
I'm not sure why you would say that it would cost a family $120+ per month to start using data services when you can add data for as little as $10 per line?
The kind of customer that you suggest should be targeted is going to be extremely hard to control. The very fact that they have the disposable income that you describe means that they are more capable of becoming contract-free by paying retail price for their device and they are more prone to making impulse decisions based on the advent of the latest-and-greatest device from a rival carrier.
TM's entire history has led them to a customer base dominated by people whose prime motivation is budget. TM need to nurture and grow that group into a more profitable contributor to the corporate bottom line. You could be right that it is a hard sell, but judging by the reported growth in smartphone ownership, TM have seen some reason for encouragement to continue pursuing that path.
I'm not sure why you need to worry about investing in two more years of service. Buy your hardware retail and exercise the freedom to stay with TM without re-upping on your contract, or move to an MVNO with no contractual onligations. Then, as the technology, network and market matures, you have the greatest degree of choice possible.
Or are you saying that you are one of the people falling in between the extremes we are describing: one who needs to respect a budget, but who would like to benefit from the buying preferences of those with disposable incomes? If so, we are in the same boat
Firstly, I dont expect a response for all points or even a response at all, (more of a frustration than a post looking for input) but appologies for the run on paragraphs, my language skills have been depricated by the interwebs, and if you think the paragraphs are bad, I only pray you never are forced to examine my handwriting. I do enjoy a lively debate though, and I thank you for the indulgences.
Im far from being in a position to decide the business direction of a major corporation, or any corportation for that matter just conjecture and runaway thoughts that jog through my head while I try to rationalize decisions of a company that has a product I enjoy but fear where they are headed, and fear they are making choices that will lead down a path where I no longer enjoy said product. One of those fears is the stale widget lineup (not all their fault) and a fear that Tmobile doesnt have its objectives to be the best that they can be. I know corpo-speak will always have it in their manifesto, but that doesnt mean they are actively making the decisions to do so.
As far as the investing 2 years of service blah blah, its like this, I could come up with the money to buy a phone off contract, and not be locked in for 2 years, I could, but I dont want to. I really dont see where there is 800 dollars of tech in a new phone, Ive seen price breakouts of iphones parted out or other tablets and without being privy to component deals its estimated that there is about 200 dollars of parts in there. I think manufacturers artifically keep the price of phones high because they know they can pass that subsidy down (at least in America) and its just good business for service providers to pass it on to consumers who lock in with 2 more years. Im ok with that, psychologically when Im given the cost of 200 dollars or 199 or whatever, it gives me warm and fuzzies inside, I really dont care that the true cost of ownership will be greater than the outright cost of the device, since its worked into the service I already use, its not like they say, oh hey we will knock 10 bucks a month off for bringing your own device, and Im sure it would even be in tmob favor to charge more for bringing your own device because they have no guarantee you will be using it a month, or a year from now. So my investment scenario is this, tmobile, give me a kickbutt phone, at 25% of the retail cost and I will stick with you another 2 years I promise. I'll even sign on the dotted line possibly in blood if you ask nicely enough and (the phone has at least 32 gigs of storage and an HD screen) ;-) so I never have to pick up my only apple product (ipod) again. I'll even promise to buy apps, possibly other things, but not callertones or whatever those things were.. those are dumb. I am a willing contract prostitute. I am budget conscious, but not so much if I wanted to lay out that sorta money I couldnt, I think its better invested in some of my other hobbies that seem to have a higher priority than phone tech. Its just the way I feel, I could be wrong, and there may be all sorts of crazy R&D and marketing, or whatever, but Im not concerned with the truth, Ive been trained that top of the line phones cost 199 - 250 bucks and 2 years of my life. ;-) Im fine with that, and Im fine with Tmob being my ****.(for now) Id also be fine with paying the completely arbitrary number of say 400 dollars, no contract for a mid level to upper end phone to hit my psychological sweet spot.
With all that being said, Im hesitant to make the jump from tmob, after I jumped from Sprint to Tmobile years and years ago, and promised Id never go back, plus I got a sweet loyalty deal for sticking around, The thought of going to ATT or big V makes my stomach churn, but not being on contract it has actually made me think about it, seeing what Samsung is bringing to the deck tomorrow to find out for sure. This has all manifested out of what I suppose I'll call myself, a frustrated loyalist. Waiting and waiting for tmobile to do something worth talking about other than in the getting bought stories. ATT would be the most accessable for me since they also use GSM and I travel overseas quite a bit, which was one of the main reasons I jumped to tmobile(voicestream) in the first place, Tmob being cheaper than everyone else was just a bonus, and ATT (Cingular) was a TDMA shop at the time while primeco (now verizon) and sprint were CDMA. So maybe Im a bit of a different demographic than Tmob masses, but they have served me well, on most accounts.
I'd just like to thank you for debating with me, its really not that big of deal when its all said and done, Im not sure 2 pages of forum space and a disection of our understandings on the mobile industry and this mobile company was warranted, but it was fun. I still say Im disappointed in the One S ;-) and with this tmobile phone, whether it was forced by the hand of the manufacturer or somebody at tmobile going yes! thats the one er... I mean the ONE S.. or just market forces outside of anybodys control, was just one of those moments when I was excited and then all of a sudden deflated like a whoopee cushion, and decided to vent on this board, and these 2 pages are my **** noises.
Actually, TM does knock off $20 a month on the Value plan, if you buy retail or bring your own device...unfortunately they also now require a 24-month contract with that, though there was a time not so long ago when you got the financial benefit without contract.
I hope they will revert to that arrangement sooner rather than later, but they may need to few more quarters of overall declining custom before recognizing the fact.
While I appreciate the "feel good" factor of picking up a hot device for sub-$200, you always end up paying more over the lifetime of the contract than you would dropping the MSRP up front and taking the savings on the plan.
I think we share the same demographic, it certainly sounds like we arrived here for very similar reasons.
I'm glad that I'm not making a decision about future hardware and service right now. I have until July to see what TM's response to the iPhone 5 is going to be, but even if it's the biggest, baddest and best device conceivable, I'm going to take a long hard look at where TM is as a company before I do anything that ties me back to them for another 2 years.
I have been bitterly disappointed over the last year with many of the policies which have been adopted in an effort to bolster failing revenues. I understand why TM are in the situation they are in, but some of the ways that customers have been gouged, trapped and openly deceived means that I cannot in good conscience consider myself in anything more than a very pragmatic relationship now. Unless there are real signs of improvement, I will be taking an extended break to discover what is now possible with some of the smaller service providers.
A pleasure chatting with you and I look forward to reading and responding to more of your very un-****-like contributions
It's a shame that TMO decided to require a committment contract even if you bring your own device. I think they should just switch to a model similar to that of cable companies that let you "rent" your cable box or modem. I sign a 2-year contract, you give me a phone to use for this period, I pay $7/mo on top of my bill to lease the phone. At the end of my contract (or close to the end), I get to lease a new shiny device for the next two years. No more subsidizing BS.
Going back to mmarc76's comment about product costs, though, I just wanted to point out that the Bill of Materials that teardown websites (like iFixIt) post aren't very reflective of the true cost of getting a product out to the market -- and making a profit. R&D costs for these high-tech devices are very high and manufactures need to recoupe their investments. They have to pay 100s of personnel for many months of work before the first batch is made.
I think the current subsidy models in the US have had the additional side-effect of giving the average American consumer the wrong perception of how valuable their smartphones really are. At this point, most consumers are conditioned to think that the $99 they pay for a smartphone is the price, which in turn forces carriers to resort to shady business practices like contracts, ETFs, ... I have a feeling the subsidy days are numbered to be honest.
TM have a curiously contradictory stance on subsidies. It wasn't that long ago that a VP made a speech encouraging the end of subsidies, yet without them TM - as things stand - would struggle to retain their contract customer levels.
I think the reason they introduced contracts on their Value plans was because they needed to maintain a minimum subscription level as part of the AT&T deal. Without it, the break up fee might have been in jeopardy.
The rationale that might help them to maintain a committed customer base without subsidies is not difficult to conceive:
Unsubsidized customers who enter contracts get to pay LESS on their rate plan than those who want to remain contract free. That fits the logic that you would expect for commitment-based service arrangements outside the mobile industry.
C'mon TM, give it a try.