Mobile Tech Today

CIO Today Network Sites:   Top Tech News  |   CIO Today   |   Mobile Tech Today   |   Data Storage Today
News & Product Reviews for Mobile Tech Users
Thursday, April 24th 
Real-time info services with Neustar
Trending Topics:   Security Heartbleed Big Data Cloud Computing Windows XP Data Centers OS X Mavericks
Home
Laptops & Tablets
Mobile Phones
Mobile Gadgets
Mobile Apps
BYOD & MDM
iPad
Mobile Industry News
Wireless Connectivity
Wireless Security
GPS & Maps
MTT Press Releases
 
Free Newsletters
Top CIO News
 
Mobile Tech Today
 

Mobile Tech

Americans Have Fewer Smartphone Choices

Americans Have Fewer Smartphone Choices
February 16, 2014 3:19PM

Bookmark and Share
U.S. consumers have fewer smartphones to choose from compared with their European and Asian counterparts. That's largely due to stunted competition: When providers hide the upfront cost of phones, there's less competition to put out quality devices that you can buy outright. Less-expensive models from smaller companies have a hard time.

APC has an established a reputation for solid products that virtually pay for themselves upon installation. Who has time to spend worrying about system downtime? APC makes it easy for you to focus on business growth instead of business downtime with reliable data center systems and IT solutions. Learn more here.

A flurry of alternative cellphone providers have hit the streets in the past year, offering consumers smartphones that aren't bound by the traditional two-year contract.

But even though new pricing structures from Republic Wireless, Aio, Ting, T-Mobile and Virgin Mobile challenge the traditional payment model, two-thirds of smartphone owners still sign contracts that often include subsidized phones, and the choices available to American subscribers remain limited.

In most European and Asian countries, the mobile market is different, with a host of midrange, affordable phones available to buy outright. So why are Americans still so limited in their phone choices?

It's largely an issue of transparency. In the U.S., traditional plans offer tempting, subsidized upfront prices on must-have phones like the iPhone 5s and Samsung Galaxy S4 by getting you to sign a two-year contract. Customers pay off the rest of the phones' cost each month of their contract.

However, when your contract is up, your bill doesn't go down -- even though the phone is more than paid off. Consumers are expected to rinse and repeat, paying an upgrade fee for a new phone and locking in for another two years. By contrast, carriers in Europe and Asia frequently offer plans that only charge for a handset until it's paid off.

Subsidized or not, U.S. consumers still have fewer smartphones to choose from compared with their European and Asian counterparts. That's largely due to stunted competition: When providers hide the upfront cost of phones, there's less competition to put out quality devices that you can buy outright.

Such smartphones exist elsewhere. For example, at last month's International CES in Las Vegas, we saw Meizu's gorgeous MX3. It is slim, fast and performs on par with the $699 Samsung Galaxy S4, but costs only around $410 overseas. Lenovo's Vibe X costs around $415 overseas and features a slim profile and HD screen. But neither the Vibe X nor MX3 is currently sold by U.S. providers.

In the United States, carriers undergo a complex dance with phone manufacturers to decide which handsets to carry. Price, features, size and brand awareness are but some of the factors that go into choosing which handsets make it to store shelves. In a crowded marketplace dominated by major players, some phones just don't make the cut.

"I sense that right now carriers are less willing to take on any (new manufacturer) given the enormous cost associated with bringing these devices to market," said Will Stofega, a mobile analyst for research firm IDC. "They're more willing to stay the course in terms of the usual suspects." (continued...)

1  |  2  |  Next Page >

 

© 2014 USA TODAY syndicated under contract with NewsEdge. All rights reserved.

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

jwood:

Posted: 2014-02-24 @ 8:28am PT
Republic Wireless offers a no contract phone for $299 and a plan for $10/month with unlimited talk and text or $25/month for unlimited talk, text, and data.



 Mobile Tech
1. Opera Coast Offers Safari Alternative
2. What Might an Amazon Phone Offer?
3. OnePlus One Boasts Android Weapon
4. Samsung: $2.2B Too Much for Apple
5. Review: Windows Phone Advances


 Related Topics  Latest News & Special Reports

  Opera Coast Offers Safari Alternative
  Salesforce Developing App SOS Button
  What Might an Amazon Phone Offer?
  OnePlus One Boasts Android Weapon
  Samsung Gear Fit Geared for Exercise

 Technology Marketplace
Business Intelligence
Get real-time, cloud-based information services with Neustar.
 
Cloud Computing
Next Generation Data Center Is Here! Vblock™ Systems from VCE
 
Contact Centers
HP delivers the future of the contact center with HP Qfiniti 10.
 
Data Storage
Next Generation Data Center Is Here! Vblock™ Systems from VCE
Barium Ferrite (BaFe) is the future of tape.
2.5" Enterprise-class SATA & SAS SSDs for server & storage applications
 
Enterprise Hardware
Barium Ferrite (BaFe) is the future of tape.
2.5" Enterprise-class SATA & SAS SSDs for server & storage applications
 
Hardware
Protect your network with APC Smart-UPS battery backup
 
Network Security
Protect your network with APC Smart-UPS battery backup
 

Network Security Spotlight
Tech Giants Fund Initiative To Prevent Future Heartbleeds
Can more funding prevent Heartbleed vulnerabilities in future open-source software? A new Core Infrastructure Initiative at the Linux Foundation is attempting to find out.
 
What Verizon's Data Breach Report Can Teach Enterprises
It’s probably not a jaw-dropper, but cyberespionage is officially on the rise. And the use of stolen or misused credentials is still the leading way the bad guys gain access to corporate information.
 
Top Cyberthreats Exposed by Verizon Report
Beyond Heartbleed, there are cyberthreats vying to take down enterprise networks, corrupt smartphones, and wreak havoc on businesses. Verizon is exposing these threats in a new report.
 
Navigation
Mobile Tech Today
Home/Top News | Laptops & Tablets | Mobile Phones | Mobile Gadgets | Mobile Apps | BYOD & MDM | iPad
Mobile Industry News | Wireless Connectivity | Wireless Security | GPS & Maps | MTT Press Releases
Also visit these Enterprise Technology Sites
Top Tech News | CIO Today | Mobile Tech Today | Data Storage Today

Services:
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters | XML/RSS Feed

About CIO Today Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Services for PR Pros (In partnership with NewsFactor) | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 Mobile Tech Today. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.