“Until very recently, carrier control in the U.S. remained a major problem,” Walt Mossberg writes for Re/code. “Even the biggest brands, like Samsung, had to make special tweaks to seemingly identical models to please the network operators, or produce superfluous special models altogether to remain in their good graces.”
“Only Apple, possessed of a massively powerful brand and the first modern smartphone, managed to retain real independence from carriers. And it bought that freedom at a steep price: A years-long exclusive with AT&T in the U.S.,” Mossberg writes. “For their part, consumers were locked into two-year contracts that trapped them with a carrier, lured by ultimately costly subsidies that made a $650 phone look like it cost $199.”
“Fast forward to today, and two important things have happened to raise hopes that smartphone design, pricing and marketing can be finally fully pried from the fingers of network operators,” Mossberg writes. “Apple, the country’s most important smartphone maker, took a huge step toward this future last week. It announced that it would sell new iPhones under its own installment plan, which will include a warranty — cutting out the carrier. The plan allows for an upgrade every year, which is obviously in Apple’s interests. And, ominously for the carriers, these will be unlocked iPhones, able to be switched from carrier to carrier at any time.”
Much more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote on Tuesday:
All we need now are Apple SIMs in iPhones. Game, set, match!
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