Unlocked, you will find very high costs for Blackberries and HTCs either. In fact, they're not any cheaper than the Nokia N-series. The iPhone, when sold unlocked, isn't cheap too, it should be at least 600 to 700 hundred dollars for the 8 gig.
If you got phones of competitive quality being sold for $99 or $199, against $399 or $499 or $699, its no contest.
But then again, if you bought a prepaid phone, you are free from the tyranny of the contract. If somehow, you can't pay the remainder of your contract, your credit rating isn't affected. You can go month to month, and switch carriers. There are even countries that regulate, no locked phones.
This idea is very important for Asians and Europeans. The sheer freedom of not being locked to a contract and go week by week, month to month, on prepaid cards. If they don't like the carrier, they can easily switch carriers just by changing the SIM card. Or they can easily sell the phone to someone else, get a new phone and put their old SIM on it and works just like that.
That's how Nokia gets around with all their stores in Asia and Europe. Why the best place to find phones aren't with the carriers but with independent stalls and electronic stores that display all brands of phones like they're selling TV sets or cameras.
I'm pretty sure if you are buying for example, an HTC, unlocked GSM, like the Touch HD or Diamond or Touch Pro, these phones aren't cheap. In fact they're very expensive.
At the same time, to show that you carry a phone that is perceived as expensive, is a way to flaunt your social status. There is a lot of people who buy expensive smartphones just as a social status item, and use only 10% of the functionality. Though I gather even these people would use appointments, contact management, text and email as part of those most often used functionality since socialites tend to socially network extensively. And occasionally the camera, though the TV isn't that used as well as the browser, GPS and other stuff.
Last edited by Drillbit : 04-06-2009 at 02:43 AM.