T-Mobile for the past month has been kicking around the long-held idea that the carriers should discount the price of mobile devices on their network. Subsidies like this make our phones cost less and the carriers bank on making their profit in the monthly contracts afterwards. T-Mo is planning on getting rid of these plans in 2013 and move towards other plans that they say will save customers money in the long run. Verizon and AT&T are understandably very curious how this experiment will go down.
Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam was quoted at CES this week saying that these subsidy-free plans would be a “great thing,” and that Big Red could move to those types of plans “very quickly” if the customers wanted it. AT&T’s Mobility Chief Executive Ralph de la Vega said more of the same, but doesn’t think that people are ready to pay for phones full price at the moment.
It’s no secret that the big carriers would love to make more money off the fancy new devices and phones that they sell, but it sounds like they won’t move towards them if the customers aren’t ready for it. And the switch to this new type of plan would most likely change us from the “new every two” contracts, but don’t believe that the carriers won’t get their cut.
Do you want to do away with carrier subsidies? What would you like to see them do instead?