There’s a piece up over at PC World called Will Carriers Deliver on Pledge of Open Access? that we found interesting. Towards the end of the article, it mentions the possibility of carriers discouraging people from bring their own handset(s) to them by charging higher prices. Exactly what would cost more is not defined, but we’re guessing it is subsidized handsets. Already locking people in for two years due to losing money on the phone apparently might not be enough for providers. Let’s raise them some more and penalize the people who don’t already have a phone!
It seems counter-intuitive to us. If you raise the price of handsets on average Joe, the first time buyer, you’re not going to get him to endear himself to you. Rather, he’d probably look to get either an older, less expensive model or an unlocked phone for roughly the same cost as whatever the carrier is offering. If Joe was educated, he’d buy the unlocked/open phone and ready himself for down the road. With pro-rated early termination fees coming, he’d be positioned to jump ship as soon as another provider offered him a better rate or features. As time goes, more people will know what is available to them when it is buying time. The burden is going to be on carriers to offer the best services at the most affordable price. And let’s not discount customer service. If you do your job right and make people happy, they’ll be less prone to have wandering eyes.