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AT&T Cellphones Google

HTC Does What Google Wouldn't: Sell an LTE Phone That Sidesteps AT&T 290

Posted by Soulskill
from the three-letter-acronyms dept.
schwit1 writes "You won't see it advertised on billboards or television, you won't hear it mentioned in a carrier store, and your less technologically-savvy friends most certainly won't know about it — but quietly, HTC's done something extraordinarily important this month: it's broken AT&T's stranglehold on its nationwide LTE network. It's a move that even Google, for all its money, power, and influence, didn't make with the Nexus 4. HTC is shipping both 32GB and 64GB versions of the One — an early contender for the best phone of 2013 — in a carrier- and bootloader-unlocked version that supports both T-Mobile and AT&T LTE. No strings attached."
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HTC Does What Google Wouldn't: Sell an LTE Phone That Sidesteps AT&T

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  • News at elleven (Score:5, Informative)

    by spectrokid (660550) on Wednesday April 24, 2013 @04:23AM (#43534489) Homepage
    company dears to do something in the US (under cover of darkness) which is standard practice everywhere else on this planet. Welcome to the 21th century!
    • Re:News at elleven (Score:5, Insightful)

      by captainpanic (1173915) on Wednesday April 24, 2013 @04:26AM (#43534491)

      I was just gonna write something similar. It is very common to be able to buy a phone without contract in the Netherlands, and then buy a separate sim-card somewhere. What's all the fuss about? But then I guess we do occasionally blow news items from the USA out of proportion, so maybe I should just take it with a grain of salt and grab another cup of coffee.

      • Re:News at elleven (Score:5, Informative)

        by sabri (584428) * on Wednesday April 24, 2013 @04:43AM (#43534543)

        It is very common to be able to buy a phone without contract in the Netherlands, and then buy a separate sim-card somewhere.

        You can do that in the U.S. as well. You will just pay the full price.

        The reason why lots of cellphones are carrier-locked, is because the carrier subsidizes the purchase and charges less for the phone than the manufacturer does. Your brand new Nokia 6220 will cost Telfort 300 Euries, but you will only pay 49.95 if you sign a 2 year contract. So in that case, Telfort's business model to subsidize your new phone will be based on the assumption that you will use their service. In order to "force" you to do so, the phone is locked to accept only Telfort Sim cards.

        This model has evolved to certain manufacturers doing only business with certain service providers and basically locking them in. For example, here in the U.S. the first Iphone could only be purchased at AT&T and thus would be sim-locked for the AT&T network.

        The news here is that HTC now breaks that tradition and just offers their cellphone directly to consumers, simlock free. And that does matter.

        • The reason why lots of cellphones are carrier-locked, is because the carrier subsidizes the purchase and charges less for the phone than the manufacturer does. Your brand new Nokia 6220 will cost Telfort 300 Euries, but you will only pay 49.95 if you sign a 2 year contract.

          Yeah, they do that here, too. What I don't get is why that requires SIM-locking. You sign a two-year contract. So if you decide you want to jump ship in the middle of it, you're still required to pay out that contract. In fact, it's in Telfort's best interest if you do - not only do they receive your full payment for however long you had left on your contract, they won't have to provide you any service. There's no need to lock your SIM to force you to use their service; the contract already guarantees you'l

        • Re:News at elleven (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 24, 2013 @06:55AM (#43535085)

          No, you idiot. You pay 49.95 now, and the rest as downpayment through your 2 year contract. The cost isn't subsidised, it's hidden.

          • Re:News at elleven (Score:5, Insightful)

            by nightgeometry (661444) on Wednesday April 24, 2013 @07:31AM (#43535289) Journal
            Pity you are at 0, because this is exactly it. Whenever I wish to change phone I look at the same phone on contract 'subsidised' and paying outright. Every time so far it has worked out cheaper to buy the phone, then equivalent service. Also every time my monthly cost has dropped after some time, so it works out even cheaper than the original calculation makes out. Further - if i wish to change phone, I sell the old one, and get to choose a new one (I never come out ahead, but it is nice to reduce the burden).
            • by Andy Dodd (701)

              The problem is that sometimes it is hard to get service without the subsidy penalty.

              Fortunately, it is much easier now than it was a year or so ago, thanks to Straight Talk and Net10's SIM-only plans (both give you choices of AT&T or T-Mobile's network, although new AT&T ST SIMs may be temporarily unavailable.) and T-Mobile's new plan structures.

              When my contract is up, it's off to ST (if they are offering AT&T SIMs again at that point) or Net10 for me.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jawtheshark (198669) *
            Yes, that is true... However, it's not the whole story. Especially not where I live, considering iPhones. A mid-range iPhone contract costs 45€/month for everything flat-rate, except roaming. When you subscribe to that contract you get an iPhone 4S for 49€ or an iPhone 5 for 149€. The thing is: there is no contract that is cheaper which would provide the same functionality.

            I don't have an iPhone. My wife does. She got it two years ago, with that plan. The phone is still perfectly fine