Originally Posted by CoDudette
it's amazing how it works in the usa. in india, phones are not sold by carrier. most of my friends have unlocked bb's bought from different markets world over.
nokia's are some of the cheapest phones to buy, sony ericssons are expensive. Motorolas *shudder* are for the people who don't use phones for anything else except texting. *shudder*
you rarely buy phones on contracts here. its amazing how cheap they are when sold outright ;)
That's how it's done in most of Asia and the Middle East. Buying a phone is a separate process from getting service, and I tend to prefer it that way. I've bought a lot of phones in Qatar, and they have phone shops on every corner with varying prices. All unlocked, all unbranded; although until recently there was only one provider in Qatar (QTel), so this didn't make a difference. Now that Vodafone is starting up, I fear that branding and locking may come into play. I found it to be the same in Singapore and South Korea. Tons of phone shops, competitive pricing between the shops, and you usually had to go somewhere else to get your service plan.
Slightly OT, but there is a mall in Seoul where there is an entire floor several hundred square meters in size dedicated to mobile phones. Heaven for me. I can't buy any there because they are all locked to the Korean carriers and don't usually have GSM, but it is always fun to look.