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

ian douglas id at
Thu Jun 12 21:07:03 CEST 2008

Kevin Dean wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 12, 2008 at 12:11 PM, Stroller <linux.luser at> wrote:
>> tariffs" ("shop for plans"?) link and was unable to complete the
>> checkout process without selecting a handset.
> I'm surprised that AT&T doesn't list that on their site.

They want to force you to walk into their store where you see all of the 
phones on display and try to sell you accessories, etc.

Just take the Freerunner into the store with you and say "Hey, have an 
unlocked GSM phone here already, just need a SIM..."

> I went to T-Mobile this weekend to purchase a SIM
> card for my Freerunner and the only question asked was "Is it
> unlocked" (ensuring it's "compatible"). There was a SNAFU there
> because this was a newly opened store who didn't have the activation
> kits, but it was a service they clearly offered and even have
> pamphlets in their holders.

Kevin, make sure you activate your minutes -- the TMobile store I went 
to said they would activate my minutes and it took me and Michael Shiloh 
scratching our collective heads at SCALE 6x to determine that my TMobile 
SIM wasn't working because it was never activated by the store...


>>> 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.
> There are other logistical issues to that, and while it's slowly
> changing, it's not possible to ignore them. In most of Europe, GSM is
> "standard". In the US, two of the four largest cellular providers use
> CDMA so for most people making that claim would come with so many
> caveats that it would be hard to handle even in the best case. In
> Verizon's case, for instance, they will be transitioning to GSM from
> CDMA "soon". It would be a bit counter productive for them to
> encourage people to bring their existing phones over to a network when
> they're phasing down that very technology.
> There's also the fact that most people are in a contract. There would
> have to be SIGNIFIGANT savings to justify most of that for customers.
> Typical early termination fees are between $150 and $300 per handset.
> A 25% monthly savings on my plan would save me very little money in
> the long run ($150 cancellation fee per handset and my plan is a
> family plan where my wife and I share minutes. To cancel that service,
> I'd need to terminate 2 phones, costing me $300 for a two year savings
> of $360).
> There's also the consumerist mentality here. I'm not sure if it exists
> in the UK, or if so, how strongly, but it is common (especially among
> the younger demographic) to change phones frequently to have "the
> latest and greatest". It's the same reason the iPhone 2 is going to
> sell despite the fact that the iPhone is still "functional" and even
> still leading the pack in terms of appeal.
>> 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.
> As I said above, in many many many cases it is the phone, NOT the
> cellular service, that gets people interested in service. AT&T wasn't
> particularly appealing but the iPhone WAS. There are some pragmatic
> people who buy a phone and use it until it dies. A large chunk upgrade
> their phones before their contracts expire for some new or improved
> feature, or because it comes in a new color. Even when two carriers
> have the same phone models, there are often "exclusives" - Verizon had
> a pink RAZR for a year before anyone else did for instance.
>> (OTOH: I now understand that the iPhone truly does only cost $199, if
>> one prefers monthly billing to PAYG SIM cards).
> Perhaps that's another difference that matters. Trying to buy my SIM
> this past weekend, even though they sold them, there was some
> confusion - they're sold so infrequently here that it was a noteworthy
> event. Having to not manage minutes is a very convenient thing for me
> and if not for wanting to test the Freerunner and the 1973 at the same
> time, I'd have zero real incentive to go prepaid. That sentiment is
> most common here, though there are good reasons to do an "as you go"
> plan.
>> Stroller.
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