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

Stroller linux.luser at
Thu Jun 12 18:11:26 CEST 2008

On 12 Jun 2008, at 03:19, Kevin Dean wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 11, 2008 at 7:35 PM, Joe Pfeiffer  
> <joseph at> wrote:
>>  If I don't get a phone, I shouldn't have to pay for one.
> Walk into T-Mobile or AT&T and  buy a phone and sign up for a
> contract. Write down how much you pay. Walk out, put that phone in
> your car and walk back into the store and sign up for the same
> contract without a phone. Write THAT price down. Compare and you'll
> see they're the same.

I think your replies to this thread started when I said "OMG!  
WTF!?!?!?" in reply to a statement like that.

Here in the UK the prices would certainly NOT be the same.

Checking AT&T's website it does indeed seem the situation is  
different in the US. I went to the website, clicked the "shop for  
tariffs" ("shop for plans"?) link and was unable to complete the  
checkout process without selecting a handset. To a European, this  
seems about as antiquated as being required to rent your landline  
handset from the phone company (which indeed was the case when I was  
a child, 25 years ago).

> You're not arguing you shouldn't have to pay for a phone, you're
> arguing that you should be allowed to dictate the level of profit
> someone else's company is able to make on transactions.

Hmmmn... IMO you're taking Mr Pfeiffer's "should" a bit literally here.

Certainly from my point of view, I am astounded at the opportunity  
the US carriers appear to be missing out on. They could easily  
advertise "got a handset from your old contract? Save 25% on you  
monthly bills - try our new SIM-only tariffs!" Think of how the  
customers would come flocking to them.

The scenario you describe means that whenever one finishes one's  
contract the old mobile phone is garbage. It's chucked away and  
becomes landfill. I can't see how this benefits anyone except the  
foreign manufacturers of phones. The carriers have to stock,  
inventory & finance handset stock, and the consumer ends up paying  
more. It just seems insane to me, and that's what surprised me.

(OTOH: I now understand that the iPhone truly does only cost $199, if  
one prefers monthly billing to PAYG SIM cards).


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