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Tim Cook downplays carrier concerns over high iPhone subsidy costs

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said Tuesday he believes that if his company continues to strive to make the best smartphone in the world, carriers will remain motivated to provide the iPhone to their customers.

Cook's comments came in response to a question during his company's quarterly earnings conference call, in which he was asked about Apple's relationship with its carrier partners. Recently, some carriers have expressed unhappiness with paying for high subsidies associated with the iPhone when compared to competing Android-based smartphones.

"At the end of the day, the carriers want to provide their customers with what their customers want to buy," Cook said Tuesday. "And so the most important thing for Apple by far is to continue making the best products in the world."

The CEO went on to note that the total subsidy that carriers pay is "fairly small" when compared with the monthly payments that carriers collect from wireless subscribers. And in order to provide the iPhone and other smartphones at a subsidized price, carriers lock customers into 24-month contracts to recoup those costs and turn a profit.

Though the iPhone can be had for as little as free with a new two-year contract, the average selling price of the iPhone remains over $600, thanks to those subsidies that carriers offer to bring the cost of the handset down.

Tim Cook


But although the iPhone may carry higher subsidy costs than some competing smartphones, Cook noted that the iPhone also has lower churn rates, a term the wireless industry uses to describe the number of customers who leave a carrier in a given time period.

In addition to being more loyal to carriers, iPhone users are also more likely to have a tablet, like an iPad, Cook said. Because of that, he believes that iPhone users will be more likely to adopt the new shared data plans to which wireless providers are transitioning.

Finally, Cook also noted that Apple's engineering teams work closely with carrier partners in an effort to find the most efficient way of handing data. He said he believes the iPhone is the market's most efficient smartphone in terms of data use and bandwidth congestion.

"We're going to focus on making the best product," Cook said, "and I think the carriers will be very motivated to make sure they provide them to the customers."
post #2 of 39

The story linked that supposedly proves carrier "unhappiness" contains a fact-free assertion by an analyst. Here's the quote:

 

 

Quote:
BITG Research's Walter Piecyk cut his rating of AAPL stock from "buy" to "neutral" in a note to investors on Monday, saying that telecoms are growing weary of paying high subsidies for the iPhone with returns that don't match Apple's high margins from the handset.

Walter Piecyk's opinion isn't the basis for proof of anything.

 

I look forward to the day Apple decides to buy up the available white space from the FCC at auction for use in future iPhones and iPads. I'd rather pay Apple for wireless service than the scum they currently deal with.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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GOA

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post #3 of 39

Now I understand why us super-senior retiree's don't get a subsidized smart phone! We won't live long enough for them to turn a profit.

post #4 of 39
Of course he's 'downplaying' it... That's part of his job.
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #5 of 39
What Tim Cook doesn't say is that Apple's high subsidy demands are eventually paid for by us customers (via higher monthly wireless fees).
post #6 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The CEO went on to note that the total subsidy that carriers pay is "fairly small" when compared with the monthly payments that carriers collect from wireless subscribers. And in order to provide the iPhone and other smartphones at a subsidized price, carriers lock customers into 24-month contracts to recoup those costs and turn a profit.

The customer pays $200 for a brand new iPhone... while the carrier covers the other $450. That might seem high... but hold on...

The carrier then collects $2000 over 2 years for every iPhone customer they have.

And they're still not happy?

Guess what, carriers... you sell a service. Your monthly plans are ridiculously high... you make billions of dollars every quarter... so shut up!
post #7 of 39
Quote:
…when compared to competing Android-based smartphones.

 

I'm sorry, is it Apple's fault that everyone else makes trash that costs less to make? And since the top Android phones cost the same as the iPhone off subsidy, how is this even something that can be said?

Originally posted by Marvin

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post #8 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I look forward to the day Apple decides to buy up the available white space from the FCC at auction for use in future iPhones and iPads. I'd rather pay Apple for wireless service than the scum they currently deal with.
I doubt Apple would ever do that. Apple sees mobile operators as dumb pipes, a utility like the people who deliver water or electricity to your house.

Apple's strategic acquisitions are generally leveraged to benefit a large percentage of Apple's customers, like acquiring PA Semi or Intrinsity. Those acquisitions benefit anyone using an Apple device powered by an ARM chip. Even Siri is eventually destined for many countries. Acquiring wireless spectrum from the FCC would only affect the users in one country, the United States.

Note that today's conference call revealed that 62% of Apple's global revenue comes from outside the United States. The acquisition of North American wireless spectrum would not benefit any of those customers.
post #9 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I'm sorry, is it Apple's fault that everyone else makes trash that costs less to make? And since the top Android phones cost the same as the iPhone off subsidy, how is this even something that can be said?
Actually, some of the blame is Apple's.

Tim Cook's mastery of the supply chain has squeezed availability of key components, like Retina displays and NAND flash memory chips, as well as access to certain key processes such as CNC machines for unibody case manufacturing.

In many cases though, it could be argued that Apple's competitors willingly chose to manufacture garbage. No one pointed a gun at Acer's head and said, "make sh-tty netbooks that people will return in gigantic piles or end up gathering dust on some shelf in six months so your founder Stan Shih can eventually come out and apologize to investors that their relentless pursuit of marketshare resulted in a bunch of crappy products not worth being proud of".
post #10 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post
Actually, some of the blame is Apple's.
Tim Cook's mastery of the supply chain has squeezed availability of key components, like Retina displays and NAND flash memory chips, as well as access to certain key processes such as CNC machines for unibody case manufacturing.

 

Ah, you're absolutely right. I'd forgotten about that. Was it hilarious how the ultrabook guys were complaining about how Apple had scarfed up all the machines they wanted to use? They didn't seem to have much interest in them four years ago when they could have gotten them for much less. lol.gif

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post #11 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Ah, you're absolutely right. I'd forgotten about that. Was it hilarious how the ultrabook guys were complaining about how Apple had scarfed up all the machines they wanted to use? They didn't seem to have much interest in them four years ago when they could have gotten them for much less. lol.gif

Much of that complaining is also bull crap. CNC machines are a dime a dozen. Integrated manufacturing lines are something else, and as such are engineering projects that take a bit of effort and investment. They can blame the lack of CNC equipment, which everyone in the industry knows is bogus, instead of just admitting to not putting in the effort. In the end manufacturing lines like these are big projects and the actual CNC hardware is just a small component of the over all expense in setting up the line. In many cases these manufactures simply don't have the cash to do what Apple did.
post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

 
What Tim Cook doesn't say is that Apple's high subsidy demands are eventually paid for by us customers (via higher monthly wireless fees).

 

So sic the DOJ on the carriers for overcharging customers. Certainly the whole business of lumping in subsidy pay back with voice etc service so that at 28 months you are paying the same as you did at 12 months but your subsidy is paid off would qualify. 

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post #13 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

I'm sorry, is it Apple's fault that everyone else makes trash that costs less to make? And since the top Android phones cost the same as the iPhone off subsidy, how is this even something that can be said?

 

The carriers make the same money off both but it turns into more profit since they only need $100 out of the $2000 with an Android phone compared to the iPhone's $450 out of $2000. The carriers might be morons about what is good customer service but this is math they can actually do

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post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post


I doubt Apple would ever do that. Apple sees mobile operators as dumb pipes, a utility like the people who deliver water or electricity to your house.

 

I agree. Apple has no deserve to be a cell phone company, a cable company or an ISP. Any one of them is a bigger bag of hurt than blu-ray

 

what I think Apple might do is join up with some other companies to expand city wide wifi efforts and then go for something that is VoIP based. Single pipe that seems everything as data regardless of the flavor. They might continue to put in cell data support but everything will still go that way rather than split up into 3 plans. And at that point we might just pay $400 for our iPhone and have our plans prepaid like the iPad. or since it's all data just be able to use our iPads instead. I use mine for basically everything anyway so I wouldn't mind this so much. 

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post #15 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

The story linked that supposedly proves carrier "unhappiness" contains a fact-free assertion by an analyst. Here's the quote:



Walter Piecyk's opinion isn't the basis for proof of anything.

I look forward to the day Apple decides to buy up the available white space from the FCC at auction for use in future iPhones and iPads. I'd rather pay Apple for wireless service than the scum they currently deal with.

Walter's opinion actually affected Apple share prices for a short bit, even though he speculated on carrier negotiating power. It's sad when an analyst with their own agenda can write and article that flucuates a company's market cap $100s millions.

But Wallsteet still doesn't understand Apple, and honestly how could they since they spend their entire life in excel on windows 7 computers.

I could get 8 of my Wallsteet friends in a room that currently hold over $100 million of Apple stock, and they still don't understand how the company operates. They are still dumbfounded by Apple's success.

Honestly, I wonder how they even would have achieved their positions without being cut-throat SOBs. Whoops 7/8 of them are SOBs , I'd only invest with one.
post #16 of 39

that's a very arrogant statement form the ceo,

they should be wary, ms/nokia are about to launch their models,

and i'm sure everyone knows how ms plays dirty behind the scenes,

back room deals by ms to launch its partners products could see carries give iphone subsidies the boot,

ONLY because they are concerned with apples dominance.

post #17 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

I'm sorry, is it Apple's fault that everyone else makes trash that costs less to make? And since the top Android phones cost the same as the iPhone off subsidy, how is this even something that can be said?


Not all iPhone alternatives are 'trash'  that costs less to make.  It is Apples fault they demand a higher margin than anyone else.

post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post


Actually, some of the blame is Apple's.
Tim Cook's mastery of the supply chain has squeezed availability of key components, like Retina displays and NAND flash memory chips, as well as access to certain key processes such as CNC machines for unibody case manufacturing.
In many cases though, it could be argued that Apple's competitors willingly chose to manufacture garbage. No one pointed a gun at Acer's head and said, "make sh-tty netbooks that people will return in gigantic piles or end up gathering dust on some shelf in six months so your founder Stan Shih can eventually come out and apologize to investors that their relentless pursuit of marketshare resulted in a bunch of crappy products not worth being proud of".


You should consider doing a portion of your reading on other sites too. The supply chain management aspect is likely overblown. You make it sound legendaryr. Beyond that given their complete lack of cash flow problems why wouldn't they choose to negotiate necessary supply contracts in advance? You make it sound like they're buying up supplies and capacity without the intention to use it. Buying it to keep it from your competitors is a completely different principle from buying it for actual use. As to product quality, they all break. I've had some kind of hardware problem with almost every piece of Apple hardware that I've owned. In the cases of exceptionally problematic items, I've moved onto other things. It's not so much that I'm rough on anything. I just don't upgrade constantly unless it's an important device. Batteries have been the worst issue of all in terms of batteries that died just outside  of warranty (older ipods) and an expanding battery (macbook pro).

post #19 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post


I doubt Apple would ever do that. Apple sees mobile operators as dumb pipes, a utility like the people who deliver water or electricity to your house.
Apple's strategic acquisitions are generally leveraged to benefit a large percentage of Apple's customers, like acquiring PA Semi or Intrinsity. Those acquisitions benefit anyone using an Apple device powered by an ARM chip. Even Siri is eventually destined for many countries. Acquiring wireless spectrum from the FCC would only affect the users in one country, the United States.
Note that today's conference call revealed that 62% of Apple's global revenue comes from outside the United States. The acquisition of North American wireless spectrum would not benefit any of those customers.

 

Mmm. I hadn't thought of that. 

 

But I can't see how they can go much further with this cloud stuff without having control of the pipe. No one is going to download huge all their movies if the ISPs throttle your connection after your tenth movie, or the mobile broadband is too expensive to use.

 

I was thinking that Apple needs to offer high-speed, fixed-cost mobile connections if they want to avoid hitting the wall caused by stubborn pipe suppliers.

post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post


Not all iPhone alternatives are 'trash'  that costs less to make.  It is Apples fault they demand a higher margin than anyone else.

Fault? Isn't that the purpose of running a business? Apple has created a series of products that are so much superior to the competition that they are able to obtain a significantly higher selling price (on average) than the competition while keeping manufacturing costs low. So that's supposed to be a problem now?
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post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post
It is Apples fault they demand a higher margin than anyone else.

 

How, particularly since they don't.


Edited by Tallest Skil - 7/25/12 at 6:48am

Originally posted by Marvin

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post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

The story linked that supposedly proves carrier "unhappiness" contains a fact-free assertion by an analyst. Here's the quote:

 

 


Walter Piecyk's opinion isn't the basis for proof of anything.

 

I look forward to the day Apple decides to buy up the available white space from the FCC at auction for use in future iPhones and iPads. I'd rather pay Apple for wireless service than the scum they currently deal with.

multiple companies have said the same thing over and over..... 

The problem with it is it encourages they sales-men/women to try to sell more androind smartphone..... which isn't truly a problem per sya, but probably does affect i{Phone profit in a very small way.

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post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

How, particularly since they don't.


According to numerous AI articles, they do.

post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayz View Post

 

Mmm. I hadn't thought of that. 

 

But I can't see how they can go much further with this cloud stuff without having control of the pipe. No one is going to download huge all their movies if the ISPs throttle your connection after your tenth movie, or the mobile broadband is too expensive to use.

 

I was thinking that Apple needs to offer high-speed, fixed-cost mobile connections if they want to avoid hitting the wall caused by stubborn pipe suppliers.

except for a few services like photo stream the cloud is a scam to get you into a low monthly payment forever. i work for a cloud company and sit next to some of our sales people

 

i'll take local storage and blu ray over streaming any day

post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post


Not all iPhone alternatives are 'trash'  that costs less to make.  It is Apples fault they demand a higher margin than anyone else.

Ah, the infamous 'Apple Tax'

You base that on some iFixIt type guess that the parts cost $75 per phone but that doesn't include the labor to assemble them, the licensing for various bits etc

As for what money is added on top of te actual costs to build, some of that money pays for the stores, the tech support, the free workshops etc. so they aren't actually making scads more profit.

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post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
except for a few services like photo stream the cloud is a scam to get you into a low monthly payment forever.

 

Yep, that free iCloud sure screams 'monthly payment'.

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post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Fault? Isn't that the purpose of running a business? Apple has created a series of products that are so much superior to the competition that they are able to obtain a significantly higher selling price (on average) than the competition while keeping manufacturing costs low. So that's supposed to be a problem now?

It just is.

What's interesting is the swing in the game. For the first 3 years Apple had to basically bend over on whatever AT&T wanted cause they needed the carrier. Not now. So if a carrier is really that upset they can kick rocks.

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post #28 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

How, particularly since they don't. {command a larger margin than anyone else}

Actually, they do.

I don't know about the subsidies (and neither does anyone else here, probably), but in terms of margin, Apple clearly does get a larger margin than the competition. That's why Apple is profitable while few others are - even after letting Apple pay their R&D costs.


In the end, I suspect that the 'problem' of subsidies will go away for the carriers over the next decade. I'm already seeing a major shift to prepaid, unsubsidized plans in the US and, of course, they are already common in many other countries. Consumers are starting to realize how much the carriers rip them off with subsidies that continue after the contract period, recovery of 2-3 times the subsidy cost, and so on.

After all, you don't get your TV from Cox or Comcast with the cable company subsidizing some of the cost. You don't buy a car with the radio subsidized by Sirius. You don't buy a subsidized refrigerator with your local grocery store picking up some of the initial cost in exchange for a contract for groceries. The fact that cell phones operate with contracts and subsidies is an artifact that could well fade.

Of course, the same thing applies to cable companies in a different regard. I'm getting really sick of having my cable bill increase by 20% per year even without adding new services. Then, they advertise their $99 bundles on TV, but they only apply to new users. I've started playing their game - my internet/cable bill for $141 just dropped to $99 when I added phone service and left everything else unchanged. Even after the 6 month promotional period, it only goes up to $121 ($20 less than I was paying without phone service). When my one year commitment expires, I'll readjust the plan and find some other deal I'm qualified for. If I can't, it may be time to switch to dish.

When the subsidies go away and the carriers have to compete on service and price, I'm sure they'll be much happier. /s
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post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

 
What Tim Cook doesn't say is that Apple's high subsidy demands are eventually paid for by us customers (via higher monthly wireless fees).

 True, but it is not just iPhone customers that end up paying in the long term, all customers pay as carriers resort to cross subsidising.

post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Actually, they do.
I don't know about the subsidies (and neither does anyone else here, probably), but in terms of margin, Apple clearly does get a larger margin than the competition. That's why Apple is profitable while few others are - even after letting Apple pay their R&D costs.
In the end, I suspect that the 'problem' of subsidies will go away for the carriers over the next decade. I'm already seeing a major shift to prepaid, unsubsidized plans in the US and, of course, they are already common in many other countries. Consumers are starting to realize how much the carriers rip them off with subsidies that continue after the contract period, recovery of 2-3 times the subsidy cost, and so on.
After all, you don't get your TV from Cox or Comcast with the cable company subsidizing some of the cost. You don't buy a car with the radio subsidized by Sirius. You don't buy a subsidized refrigerator with your local grocery store picking up some of the initial cost in exchange for a contract for groceries. The fact that cell phones operate with contracts and subsidies is an artifact that could well fade.
Of course, the same thing applies to cable companies in a different regard. I'm getting really sick of having my cable bill increase by 20% per year even without adding new services. Then, they advertise their $99 bundles on TV, but they only apply to new users. I've started playing their game - my internet/cable bill for $141 just dropped to $99 when I added phone service and left everything else unchanged. Even after the 6 month promotional period, it only goes up to $121 ($20 less than I was paying without phone service). When my one year commitment expires, I'll readjust the plan and find some other deal I'm qualified for. If I can't, it may be time to switch to dish.
When the subsidies go away and the carriers have to compete on service and price, I'm sure they'll be much happier. /s

 You may well be correct about carriers ditching subsidised handsets. Such a move would have a serious impact on the sales of higher end handsets with people no longer ditching their phones every 2 years. It would also lead to carriers having to find new ways of trying to keep customers locked into contracts.

 

Mind you it would be nice to see a shift away from the recent trend of 24 month contracts back to the 12 month ones.

post #31 of 39

i'm looking to do that. wife has a 4 and i have a 4S. Straight Talk is $40 - $45 a month per line unlimited everything. Virgin is the cheapest at $30 for 300 minutes and unlimited sms/data. i'm on wifi 90% of the time anyway.

 

I hate Siri and don't play too many games. there is very little difference for normal use in yearly iphone releases now. iOS will work 3 generations back. only reason to get a new phone now is if the old one breaks

post #32 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by hngfr View Post

that's a very arrogant statement form the ceo,

they should be wary, ms/nokia are about to launch their models,

and i'm sure everyone knows how ms plays dirty behind the scenes,

back room deals by ms to launch its partners products could see carries give iphone subsidies the boot,

ONLY because they are concerned with apples dominance.

 

Which one will be first to watch the queues form at their competitor's stores as people leave them, come launch day?

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post #33 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
i'm looking to do that. wife has a 4 and i have a 4S. Straight Talk is $40 - $45 a month per line unlimited everything.

 

Have you tried it already, or are you just looking into it? I just want to confirm this'll actually work before I drop coin on three unlocked iPhones for this purpose.

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post #34 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Have you tried it already, or are you just looking into it? I just want to confirm this'll actually work before I drop coin on three unlocked iPhones for this purpose.

my wife's 4 goes off contract next month and i'll try on her. even then ST is an AT&T MVNO and it's the same AT&T network. from what i've read you just need a slightly modified apn file which you can make yourself or get from a new zealand server. just google iphone apn file or something close to it

 

CDMA locks your phones to a carrier but not GSM/UMTS

 

prepaid cell and cancelling cable will free up close to $200 a month of after-tax money

post #35 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
my wife's 4 goes off contract next month and i'll try on her. even then ST is an AT&T MVNO and it's the same AT&T network. from what i've read you just need a slightly modified apn file which you can make yourself or get from a new zealand server. just google iphone apn file or something close to it

 

CDMA locks your phones to a carrier but not GSM/UMTS

 

But Straight Talk can also use CDMA, right? I think we need a thread dedicated to Straight Talk iPhones and getting them to work…

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post #36 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

But Straight Talk can also use CDMA, right? I think we need a thread dedicated to Straight Talk iPhones and getting them to work…

i think so, but with CDMA its different. the carrier has to allow the phone ESN on the network or something like that. Cricket is a verizon MVNO and i've read rumors that unofficially they will allow verizon iphone ESN's on their network. not sure how straight talk will handle iphone ESN's.

 

my iphones have been on AT&T since 2009 and i plan to take them to straight talk soon.

 

i was waiting for the family shared data since last year because i wanted to get my inlaws to get iphones or galaxy phones. but the terms are beyond ridiculous and they don't want to pay anything extra. as it is now i pay for 4GB data and use around 1.5 or 2. no reason why i should pay more money to use that data just to "activate" a device on a network

post #37 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Actually, they do.
I don't know about the subsidies (and neither does anyone else here, probably), but in terms of margin, Apple clearly does get a larger margin than the competition. That's why Apple is profitable while few others are - even after letting Apple pay their R&D costs.
In the end, I suspect that the 'problem' of subsidies will go away for the carriers over the next decade. I'm already seeing a major shift to prepaid, unsubsidized plans in the US and, of course, they are already common in many other countries. Consumers are starting to realize how much the carriers rip them off with subsidies that continue after the contract period, recovery of 2-3 times the subsidy cost, and so on.
After all, you don't get your TV from Cox or Comcast with the cable company subsidizing some of the cost. You don't buy a car with the radio subsidized by Sirius. You don't buy a subsidized refrigerator with your local grocery store picking up some of the initial cost in exchange for a contract for groceries. The fact that cell phones operate with contracts and subsidies is an artifact that could well fade.
Of course, the same thing applies to cable companies in a different regard. I'm getting really sick of having my cable bill increase by 20% per year even without adding new services. Then, they advertise their $99 bundles on TV, but they only apply to new users. I've started playing their game - my internet/cable bill for $141 just dropped to $99 when I added phone service and left everything else unchanged. Even after the 6 month promotional period, it only goes up to $121 ($20 less than I was paying without phone service). When my one year commitment expires, I'll readjust the plan and find some other deal I'm qualified for. If I can't, it may be time to switch to dish.
When the subsidies go away and the carriers have to compete on service and price, I'm sure they'll be much happier. /s

 

When my $59 contract ends on the 12th of August I am switching to the same plan, month to month for $45, until I upgrade to a contract again when a new iPhone launches.

 

I pay nothing for TV, don't use it enough and can always find something on free to air.

 

Unlimited ADSL 2+ is $60 pm with a phone line that I couldn't be bothered plugging a phone into.

 

Australia seems to have caught up in some ways.

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #38 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

my wife's 4 goes off contract next month and i'll try on her. even then ST is an AT&T MVNO and it's the same AT&T network. from what i've read you just need a slightly modified apn file which you can make yourself or get from a new zealand server. just google iphone apn file or something close to it

CDMA locks your phones to a carrier but not GSM/UMTS

prepaid cell and cancelling cable will free up close to $200 a month of after-tax money

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Have you tried it already, or are you just looking into it? I just want to confirm this'll actually work before I drop coin on three unlocked iPhones for this purpose.

I did it - one iPhone and one Android phone. Both worked pretty well.

There are a few glitches. The New Zealand modification method didn't work for me. I was unable to receive data. I tried the Apple iPhone Configuration tool and that didn't work, either. Eventually, I had to jailbreak my phone and install the settings manually. That wasn't painless either - hours on the phone with Straight Talk trying different settings (it's as if they have no idea what settings to use so they keep trying options until they find one that works).

In the end, I got it working except that you had to turn WiFi off in order to send or receive an MMS message (but not a text message). Fortunately, Trumptman here recommended a fix for that problem so it's all working properly (although, oddly, my daughter's Android phone still requires that WiFi be turned off to send or receive MMS).

So, in the end, you'll probably have to play around with a variety of settings and the changeover isn't as easy as it should be, but it's possible to get it working. I've completed the first month and first refill and am quite happy - better plan (unlimited data) at just over half the price of AT&T. I will have to buy a different SIM to use the phone Internationally, but I should have been doing that all along, anyway.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #39 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post


Not all iPhone alternatives are 'trash'  that costs less to make.  It is Apples fault they demand a higher margin than anyone else.

I wouldn't call this Apple's fault. Starving carriers or an eventual backlash may bite them, but AT&T screwed it for the rest of them by agreeing to Apple's terms. Verizon turned them away initially. Had every other carrier done the same, they would have needed to rethink what their demands. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Actually, they do.
I don't know about the subsidies (and neither does anyone else here, probably), but in terms of margin, Apple clearly does get a larger margin than the competition. That's why Apple is profitable while few others are - even after letting Apple pay their R&D costs.
In the end, I suspect that the 'problem' of subsidies will go away for the carriers over the next decade. I'm already seeing a major shift to prepaid, unsubsidized plans in the US and, of course, they are already common in many other countries. Consumers are starting to realize how much the carriers rip them off with subsidies that continue after the contract period, recovery of 2-3 times the subsidy cost, and so on.
 

You have a lot of passive aggressive commentary, but I've wanted  to see the end of subsidized phones for a while. I'd rather upgrade when I choose and pay an unpadded rate.

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