Originally Posted by Curtis Hannah
It is fact that carriers can't offer it for everything unlimited for $10 but it is possible for probably $20...
"A FACT"??? Who dictates what a carrier can or cannot do for $10 a month? And why does it magically BECOME possible when one doubles that figure evenly to a cool $20? Preposterous and senseless defending of carriers and the status quo!
As to our other misguided friend in this thread who actually WORKS FOR A CARRIER, we should not be surprised he is fighting reason in hopes of giving himself job security. But the genuine "fact" is that "when you lower it, they will come." I've already said what monthly fee would lure me into becoming hooked on smartphones. And the market is already showing us that such "low price" reasoning is valid and legitimate, as per the fact that iPads and tablets have been eating away at traditional computer sales because of their significantly lower price. (I own a wifi iPad and am typing this post on it too.)
Those who ask us to look back at the 1990s and compare with today so that we can simply be grateful for the status quo today are asking us to do something foolish and wrong. Technology advances while prices go down, thereby eliminating any reasonable comparisons with the distant past. (And spare me the comparisons with Apple by trying to say that Apple advances the technology used in its smart phones while NOT lowering the price. I said "distant past," meaning that the prices of smart phone and tablet hardware today are cheaper than say a Mac 128k back in 1984. The very reason why Apple can add more new and fancy features to their EXISTING product lines, is because of the fact that technology does decrease in price over time.)
Yes there was a time when wireless carriers did spend a lot of money to build up the base infrastructure and expand their networks countrywide. But those who work for the carriers are not going to convince me that they've still not yet gotten a return on those investments! And if you want to argue that all your new investments in LTE are what keeps the prices high, then you are willingly turning a blind eye to a huge business opportunity. Why not offer a $15/mo smartphone contract that restricts use to your older (but paid for) wireless tech, such that millions of dumb phone users will finally make the switch and become your sinking customers?!? But oh no... You big carriers continue to ignore the untapped masses while telling yourselves that "sticking it to the millions of smartphone customers we already have is the way to go!" How shortsighted!
How many people in developed nations have not yet contracted to get a smart phone, but instead simply have dumb phones? And how many of those millions remain to have dumb phones, not because they don't like or want smartphones, but because like me and Tallest Skil, their wallets don't allow it at current monthly fees? (And no, not even the relatively cheaper fee mentioned of $50/mo is going to lure us dumb phone users.) And don't try to tell me that carriers are somehow going to suffer and lose money and be unable to advance wireless technology to LTE and beyond when and if they ever lower prices substantially so as to capture business from those MILLIONS of people waiting to switch to a smart phone! For truly, has Apple suffered by coming out with its iPad tablet product that is at a substantially lower price point than pretty much anything else Apple has traditionally sold? Have the millions and millions of people who bought an iPad at that relatively low price point caused Apple to "suffer"? No! Apple lowered prices to what the common man (in industrialized nations) can afford and millions of people bought it and Apple became even richer by it!
And so, what will lure nearly everyone into getting a smartphone worldwide is a monthly carrier fee that is the same or only slightly higher than a dumb phone. And for me here in Japan, my eyes are locked on that base ¥980 per month dumb phone price from Softbank. (And by the way, for that low price, I get unlimited talk time to other Softbank phones from morning hours until 9PM.) For me, it makes no what economic sense whatsoever to ditch my dumb phone at ¥980 per month for a smartphone that will cost me ¥7000 per month! (I can justify that mentality because I have an iMac at home with $60/mo 100Mbps fiber connection to the net, and I have an iMac at the office with the same speed connection, and I have my Wi-Fi iPad that I can take the relatively few places here in Japan which have free Wi-Fi.) So features and apps and convenience of smartphones be darned! HOWEVER, if I am presented with a plan for an iPhone 5S that would allow me to pay say ¥1500 per month, even if I have to pay for the phone hardware all by myself with no phone subsidy from the carrier, so long the phone it is carrier-unlocked so I can use cheap SIM cards on my occasional business trips to Taiwan, I am going to seriously consider ditching my dumb phone for that iPhone! In my mindset, a smart phone is worth ¥500 more per month than a dumb phone. But a smart phone is not worth ¥6000/mo more! You see?
You status quo defenders and employees of carriers can continue to argue with all your breath, but your breath is wasted and in vain on those of us who think in the frugal manner I just described! And no manner of defending wireless carriers or defending the status quo of pricing is ever going to change our minds! The only thing that will convince us is raw pricing. The only bait that will temp me to get hooked is bait that is priced only slightly higher than what I'm paying now. THAT'S ALL THAT MATTERS.
With all that said, I've not lost hope. I remember a time back in the 1990's when I once had to pay NTT exorbitant fees to make an international phone call home to California to speak with my parents. These days I can use my Hikari Denwa IP phone for a very very low price to reach my parent's land line, or we can just use Skype or FaceTime for free. In like manner I hope that cellular wireless fees will also come down to a price that the common man can afford. I'm just a tad impatient because it's taking so long! :-)