SIM cards for Freerunner (was Free Runner price vs iphone 3G price)

Joe Pfeiffer joseph at
Thu Jun 12 06:08:06 CEST 2008

This is splitting hairs at a level the attorneys I know would be
embarrassed to be a part of.

Kevin Dean writes:
>On Wed, Jun 11, 2008 at 6:41 PM, Robert Taylor
><subscribers at> wrote:
>> Kevin Dean wrote:
>>> I'm an American and your statement confuses me. Why is it "obvious"
>>> that a contract without a phone should be cheaper? The service
>>> (cellular connectivity for voice and/or data) is the same service no
>>> matter what phone you have.
>>> In the US, the price of service contracts doesn't change. The price of
>>> PHONES does when you agree to commit to a service contract but the
>>> service contract doesn't.
>> Which part of "a portion of the contract pays for you phone ... phone
>> CONTRACT" is hard to understand?
>I understand that statement ENTIRELY. Now that we're done beating down
>straw men, where have I ONCE mentioned anything about a "free phone"
>(with the exception of the use of quoting a previous poster, in
>responce to his use of the term) ?
>I have not.
>The average person walks into a cellular retailer, purchases a phone
>(A phone that is clearly marked as costing, say $199) signs up for the
>two year contract and recieves a discount on the phone and begins a
>service subscription.

So far, so good.

>To say that he's getting a free phone is stupid - he got a $199 phone

When I signed up with T-Mobile, the market value of the phone they
"gave" me wasn't displayed anywhere.  It was described as a *free*
phone.  I did read the contract; if it said it anywhere, it was
written in 1/2 point type around the margin like the "Santa clause".

>as a bonus for signing up for a contractual service (a voluntary
>service, by the way!). Did he pay for the phone? No. What he did was
>reduce the phone company's profit margin by making them expend more
>money in order to gain him as a customer of the recurring subscription
>for vioce/data services.

"Making"?  I don't think so.  I would have been happier if they'd
reduced their profit margin the same amount by letting me walk out of
the store with a naked SIM card and a lower monthly bill.  Not
allowing me that choice was entirely their decision.

>If I walk into a retail outlet for my mobile service provider, I can
>pay for a phone WITHOUT service - I get no credits or refunds from the
>cellular provider. I pay for the phone.

Haven't tried it.  The local stores sure don't advertise that option,
and it doesn't really address whether I can buy a plan without a phone
(and not pay for the phone).

>I can also have my OWN phone and walk into a cellular service provider
>and sign up for a contract of video/data service. The price I pay for
>that service is the same as the price paid by the person who took the
>discount on the phone. I am simply creating a higher profit revenue
>for that company in the process.

And you see this as something other than being forced* to pay for the
subsidized phone, without getting the phone?  Your logic escapes me.

*Using the term loosely.  I realize nobody is forcing me to have the
 contract at all -- but given that I want the contract, paying the
 phone subsidy isn't optional.

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