Wherein I opine about what it will take for Smartphones to truly take over the world.
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- It's a CDMA handset, so likely a Sprint/Verizon "stew".
Given assumptions/inferences that can be made about the customers described in Dameon's initial post, I think it's reasonable to assume a good percentage of these subs are already on or would consider using a smaller operator. Also, I think the fact that it's the iPhone carries an inherent "draw" regardless of operator. Cricket is US-based. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cricket_WirelessMay 31, 2012
- It might, but even that price is too expensive for my wife.May 31, 2012
- Cricket is a smaller carrier. They operate their own network in a handful of locations and are an MVNO of Sprint in other locations (I assume they also have some sort of roaming agreement as well).May 31, 2012
- Sprint is typical. That is who carries Virgin. These carriers have significant limitations including no roaming or high roaming charges and generally do not deliver on bandwidth claims near as well as the big carriers. They attract the monthly pre-paid subscribers, low income subscribers, and other "marginal" customers as the bulk of their base. In general, I think your "average/mainstream" consumer would rather deal with the abuses of the big carriers than the hassles of the smaller ones.
Virgin has been the most successful of these - and their audience is mostly young adults on limited incomes.
There is nothing wrong with any of this - but I don't think it has much of an impact on the big carriers. I once thought Virgin might shake things up with their unlimited $40/month no contract MiFi hotspot. I don't think Verizon even blinked.May 31, 2012
- All true, but the relative merits of each carrier, the impact smaller ones have on the large ones, and what large carriers think of competition is tangential to the discussion Dameon started.
This news from Cricket is apropos Dameon's comments about the cost of data being the main barrier for those who haven't adopted Smartphones. Offering the iPhone on a relatively cheap prepaid plan with a decent amount of data (2.3GB with overage slowdowns) is something that will improve Smartphone adoption among budget-conscious subs.
You are correct that a percentage of subs will not be willing to stray from the "big 4" carriers. However, a percentage will decide to do so as a result of this new offering. One could argue that the population of disgruntled AT&T iPhone users who refuse to leave the network is support for the assertion that a significant number of mobile users value the device more than the network (even though I can't fathom it).May 31, 2012
- Actually Virgin Mobile is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sprint as of a few years ago.May 31, 2012