Wherein I opine about what it will take for Smartphones to truly take over the world.
Whenever I see bullshit uninformed opinions like this on the web, I want to find a clue-by-four to beat the writer over the head for not fully understanding the dynamics. Low handset price is only one...
Donovan Colbert's profile photoRon Leibfreid's profile photoDameon Welch-Abernathy (PhoneBoy)'s profile photo
Yeah, I don't care if I get the smartphone for free - it still costs me only a couple of hundred bucks less than the latest iPhone in the end. From that perspective, I'd rather pay a couple of bills and have a full featured phone than have a "gimme" that disappoints.
It's the total cost of ownership which, let's face it, only varies by a couple hundred bucks when you factor in what it costs you for the 2 year agreement from the operator.
I agree. The folks I know who don't have smartphones all echo your concerns about data plans. The surcharge in general is prohibitive regardless of the fact that it's metered. In fact, I think metered isn't that big a deal as most folks won't ever use more data than they can get for $30-$50.
My wife would have a smartphone if the required data plan weren't so expensive. My family (other than my corporate line) does prepaid. For the usage, it's so much cheaper than a contract.
Verizon, AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile offering this would change the dynamics. Virgin, Cricket, or any other "independent" carrier offering something like this doesn't have a huge impact, mostly because most consumers won't consider a smaller carrier. What network does Cricket piggy-back off of? Assuming they are in the States, and not an over-seas telco. I've never even heard of them.
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_Wireless
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).
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.
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).
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