Results: unlocked phones rule

Results: unlocked phones rule
Yesterday, Huawei lamented the loss of an AT&T deal, which meant the Mate 10 Pro would be launching in the USA without any carrier backing. Anyone that wants it will have to go to a tech store and cough up the full $799 price, or at least get a payment plan that's not stuffed with carrier-provided perks and discounts.

Anyway, that got us thinking — how much do a smartphone's sales get hurt if said device is not sold by any carrier? Surely, that puts a dent in shipments, but is it a huge one? We thought we'd ask.

So, poll results are in and, apparently, 95% of voters would have absolutely no problem to go into a tech store and buy an unlocked, carrier-free. Obviously, the folks that would read and vote on a poll in a tech blog go differently about their buyer decisions than the general population that would walk in a carrier store, but 95% is still quite impressive. We guess manufacturers that don't have their phones in a carrier shop shouldn't lose too much sleep over that, eh?

Would you buy a non-carrier-locked phone?

I'd always get a phone from my carrier
4.97%
Sure, I'd go for an unlocked phone
95.03%

FEATURED VIDEO

16 Comments

1. Landon

Posts: 1245; Member since: May 07, 2015

I definitely prefer unlocked phones, I just wish I could pay monthly installments on the device instead of paying for it all at once.

10. Sparkxster

Posts: 1238; Member since: Mar 31, 2017

Exactly! Imagine being able to get whatever phone you wanted and all of them worked with all carriers and you could get financing on any device :)

12. tjb51681

Posts: 7; Member since: Jul 19, 2017

I'm currently paying monthly payments for my unlocked note 8 bought from samsung

2. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

I always buy unlocked. I spend time in both the US and the Caribbean so it is nice to be able to use the same phone with different companies.

3. Anonymous.

Posts: 423; Member since: Jun 15, 2016

Unlocked FTW!

4. StreetNerd

Posts: 870; Member since: Dec 08, 2010

I'm baffled that there are still locked phones in 2018.... we haven't those anymore since 2010

5. cuppacappachino

Posts: 8; Member since: Mar 15, 2012

The idea of unlocked phones is fabulous, but when you consider that most consumers don't frequent a site like this one when looking for a new phone they go straight to their carrier, their carrier's website, or the website of a carrier they are interested in to see what is out there (at least in the US) its pretty easy to see why phone manufacturers would be concerned when they don't have that backing. It will inevitably result in fewer sales unless they're willing to invest in their own massive marketing campaigns.

6. TheOracle1

Posts: 2331; Member since: May 04, 2015

Agreed but the issue is that carrier phones have very limited choices in the US. When it comes to consumer choices they manipulate the market in my opinion. The rest of the world has basically moved away from that business model.

8. markobarko

Posts: 176; Member since: Oct 09, 2016

In our country Slovenia "EU" it is illegal to lock phones. So telcos can f... them self. And unlocked phones are great, as I can change carrier however I want and later on sell the phone effortlessly.

9. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

Having an unlocked Note 8 came in real handy when I just went abroad on vacation. Got a very cheap pre-paid talk/text plan and 1.5GB of data with an international carrier, swapped the SIM cards, and was good to go without worries of gathering a hefty bill. Total came to less than $10 CAD, whereas my Canadian carrier (fido) would be charging roaming package starting at no less than $50 CAD, and nowhere near 1.5GB of data. On a side note, while doing this, I also noticed a very neat and handy feature on my Note 8; it can independently keep track of data usage from different SIM cards. I was already in the middle of a billing cycle with fido, and had used about 110MB of my 3GB monthly data limit (all configured in the data usage settings of my Note 8, with warning set for 2.5GB). When I swapped the SIM card to the international carrier, the data usage reset and I reconfigured it to the limit of 1.5GB/month, keeping track of it as normal. When I landed back in Canada, I switched back to my fido SIM card and my Note 8 automatically resumed right where I left off with it; data limit set to 3GB/month, warning set to 2.5GB, billing cycle set to the 29th of the month, and usage for the month continued counting from 110MB...neat and handy.

11. Venom

Posts: 3692; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Unlocked phones are absolutely the best. It's so much better to pop out the sim card and be able to use a phone on any carrier.

14. gamehead unregistered

Who's surprised by these results

15. frequency

Posts: 109; Member since: Aug 13, 2013

Those rats who get paid 25 cents to bully HUAWEI are surprised. I still feel sorrow for them to deny the consumer rights. How come there are still some "volunteer slaves" exist toda? They must grow up in those authoritarian family. Shame on their parents.

17. plasteek

Posts: 265; Member since: Jun 07, 2015

Last carrier phone i bought was 14 years ago !!!

22. Derass

Posts: 149; Member since: Aug 06, 2015

For me, because of the plan I have, it will always be a better deal to buy the phone unlocked instead of getting it on a current market (expensive), subsidized plan. I think a lot of people don't think to run the numbers and are just happy to get the latest phone for $200 upfront and paying WAY more in the long-run. They probably don't even realize. I also think it's the sticker shock that prevents the average user from buying unlocked and shopping around for a good plan. They see $1000+ up-front and get scared off. They'd much rather spend $200 up-front that they're used to. But they don't consider the long-term cost, which is almost always more.

26. vananucho

Posts: 83; Member since: Jun 01, 2011

Subsidized phones are cáncer, and most times when the Carrier decides "its obsolete" they will Just stop bringing updates and purposedly "Lock" them with microupdates like with the old Droid Maxx and Mini.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.