The not so uncarrier

magenta5921718

    It seems T-Mobile & Version have one thing in common the lack of phone choice's  if they would introduce some other phones like HUAWEI and the Google phone and create some competition just maybe phone prices would come down I know I'd rather have a better selection then just Samsung Apple or LG it's getting a little old what is your thoughts on this

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      • drnewcomb2

        Re: The not so uncarrier

        You don't have to buy your phones from T-Mobile. Current iPhones and Androids even support T-Mobile's WiFi Calling. The big issue is support for LTE band 71. So far, the phones that support band 71 are all sold by T-Mobile (or MetroPCS). Given time there will be 3rd-party phones with band 71. I think the OnePlus 6T will be one.

        • smplyunprdctble

          Re: The not so uncarrier

          Phone prices appeared super-deflated when carriers gave subsidies.  So, people don't think a phone should cost as much as it does because they were accustomed to free-to-cheap devices.  The price was made up in slightly higher plan prices.

           

          Now, without subsidies, people are seeing the "real cost" of phones.  I use quotes because it's the price of parts plus the manufacturer's profit.  The carrier doesn't really make anything off phones.

           

          Honestly, the best thing to bring phone prices to a more competitive price would be to completely unlock them from carriers.  But, that means more antennas have to be built in (different network types between ATT / T-Mobile and Sprint / Verizon), which brings prices up.  If the carriers could standardize their technologies and take phones out of the equation (e.g. like pretty much the rest of the world), competition would be pretty fierce.  Buy a [unlocked] phone from something like Bestus Buyus and choose your carrier's SIM.  Don't like that carrier for whatever reason?  Port.  You don't have to worry about whether or not your phone would work, and you wouldn't have a contract.  That would bring carrier prices down some, and bring phone prices down some.  The complicated thing is not everyone can afford paying for an iPhone outright, so financing would be a thing, and the question is who would take over that piece.

           

          But, seriously - the fact you buy your phone from your phone company is what is killing the competition.  Not the fact XYZ carrier isn't carrying ABC device [I don't think ANY carrier carries the Pixel2? You have to get it from Google directly].

            • drnewcomb2

              Re: The not so uncarrier

              Standardization sounds good and it actually worked back when there was just one cellular band and all phones were analog. It even worked back when phones were either CDMA or GSM and there were only four bands in the world. Today the whole mess has become as crazy as Japan's cellular situation. Phones that can cover all the bands and standards are generally pretty spendy. It may get a bit better once everyone in the US goes to LTE and phones only keep 2G & 3G capability for roaming in less-developed countries. Even without CDMA, a phone needs 4 GSM bands, 5 UMTS bands and about a dozen LTE bands just to be capable of using all the US frequencies and enough foreign ones to get around. On top of that, there are VoLTE compatibility issues, WiFi Calling and other features that need to be "cooked into" the firmware.

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                • magenta5921718

                  Re: The not so uncarrier

                  I'm sure they all get a commission or a kick back from the mfgs bottom line

                  you should be able to buy any phone you want that would foster competition

                  and cheaper prices for the consumer.

                    • drnewcomb2

                      Re: The not so uncarrier

                      You can buy any phone you want from any source you want. The problem is that it may not work well. This is true of any US carrier. Sprint and Verizon have a very short list of phones that they'll activate that they didn't sell. T-Mobile has no such list. They give the customers instructions on how to set up their BYODs. The only issue is that a BYOD may not be fully compatible with T-Mobile's bands and standards. We frequently get queries here with titles like "Why doesn't my phone work?" and it turns out that they bought some phone that was intended for the Chinese or Indian market and is only compatible with GSM-1900 in the USA. This is something that T-Mobile has no control over. They can't legally use the same bands are used in China and India. They can only assure that the devices they sell work on their network.

                • stevetjr

                  Re: The not so uncarrier

                  magenta5921718  The google phone is Google's choice not to let TMO sell it, same goes for AT&T or Sprint you can only buy it from Verizon or Google because Verizon paid Google some insane amount of money for exclusivity.  As for Huawei, look at other big 3 you don't see them there either.  TMO is actually going to start selling the OnePlus 6T which no other carrier sells.  The US carriers have fairly stringent requirements regarding testing and certification that the device will work 100% on their network before they will sell it. 

                   

                  If you go back a few years you will see all the CEO's noted the carriers don't make money on phones and in most cases after inventory costs, free financing, advertising and etc they lose money.