Would you buy an unlocked (non-carrier) phone?
That said, providers definitely don't support a huge roster of smartphones to sell and if you want to stray away from the usual Samsung, LG, Apple, or Moto buy, you may need to go to a separate tech store... and buy an unlocked phone outright. Huawei is a very fresh example of this — the company has just announced that it would be selling the Mate 10 Pro — a pretty cool handset — in the USA. However, since it couldn't land a deal (or, allegedly, the rug was pulled from under it), the phone will not be available through carriers.
So, anyone who wishes to grab a brand-new Huawei Mate 10 would have to do so through Best Buy, Amazon, Microsoft, Newegg, or B&H. And they'll have to pay $799 for it, with no carrier-issued discounts or offers to soften that blow. Additionally, since it's a SIM card phone, it'll work only with GSM carriers — AT&T, T-Mobile, Cricket, MetroPCS, Simplemobile, and Tracfone.
But we are definitely not implying that the smartphone market outside of carrier-sold units is dead. On the contrary, we are pretty sure plenty of people go to a store or go online and order whatever phone they desire without having to jump through hoops, sign 2-year contracts, or read the fine script. So, we wondered – how many, exactly? Tell us in our poll!