The move would fulfill Google's pledge to bring a new generation of open-standard mobile Internet devices to consumers. By bypassing the carriers, who keep tight controls over the features and applications that are allowed on phones, Google will presumably offer a device that lets users determine the functions."
Uh, the phone may not be bound to a single carrier, but whatever carrier you choose is still going to control what features are available, based on the plan your purchase. Do that many carriers offer open data plans? Most I know of are tied to the phone (e.g. BlackBerry, Android, or iPhone data plans) rather than simple "data plans".
Ok, this article's title was very misleading. I thought for a second that Google would be providing contract-free cell phone SERVICE. What they mean to say is "Google to release unlocked cell phone to retailers, not carriers" or something like that. Still, it's pretty cool. Except it almost certainly won't work on Verizon...
I wonder how the carriers will take this. I'm assuming they won't suffer too badly, assuming the Google Phone will have to lease the signals and bandwidth from the already-existing carrier networks.
I will be SO happy to see the building blocks come into place so that we, as consumers, are allowed much more freedom in our wireless choices. The carriers, and even cell/smart phone manufacturers (*psst.. Apple?) with exclusivity contracts will really need to re-think their strategies for profit. When Google makes a move, they move BIG, FAST, and LOUD.
Freedom in this area is way so precious I wonder why it had taken it so long for the demand and supply system in US to provide this to the consumers. I understand that from time to time someone would want to provide something 'extraordinary' (if you can call iPhone that) for the wrong, bound to contract, way even in EU, but being a contract the norm is not normal IMO.
[citation][nom]hellwig[/nom]Uh, the phone may not be bound to a single carrier, but whatever carrier you choose is still going to control what features are available, based on the plan your purchase. Do that many carriers offer open data plans? Most I know of are tied to the phone (e.g. BlackBerry, Android, or iPhone data plans) rather than simple "data plans".[/citation]
True it will still depend on your contract, but in the UK you can get a data plan added to pretty much any package plan for $15 a month, data plan, BB plan, text plan etc. You just bolt it on, none of this 'You must pay an extra $30 a month for 18 months when you buy an iPhone for a data plan'. It think you could probably still do it in the states anyway, just buy a sim card and add bolt ons. With my ATT Pay As Yo Go card over the summer you could get all these bolt ons and I used it for my UK iPhone, works the same with a lot of contract.
For this whole idea to work the phone would have to be killer though...
The telco tying contracts have always been bad news for consumers. This move puts the Google phone at the top of my want list even if my carrier has a phone as good for less. Hope the FCC gets on the consumer's side and bans these contracts.
[citation][nom]ram1009[/nom]FYI, Walmart IS selling contract free cell phone service as the title to this article implies Google will.[/citation]
It's easy to find contract free phones.
My brother uses a prepaid phone. Just bought a $50 contract for a carrier which only covers calls.
However, they're usually either extremely expensive, or extremely simple phones.
Hopefully, it's affordable, powerful, sleek, sexy, and useful.
Good going Google.
[citation][nom]anamaniac[/nom]It's easy to find contract free phones.My brother uses a prepaid phone. Just bought a $50 contract for a carrier which only covers calls.However, they're usually either extremely expensive, or extremely simple phones.Hopefully, it's affordable, powerful, sleek, sexy, and useful.Good going Google.[/citation]
Contract free phones are getting better and better. Boost and Virgin for example have unlimited everything plans for $50 or less per month, offering decent web browsing, texting, etc. I just bought my son a Virgin mobile Kyrocera slideout Qwerty phone, 1.3MP camera, etc. (which uses Sprint) for $99.
Now, for him I just bought the unlimited text plan at $20/month, but for me I'd probably go for the $50 and save myself $20/month over my contract phone. The only difference is having to pay for the phone upfront. But after 5 months, it pretty much pays for itself.
Yes, maybe the internet access isn't as robust as a contract cell provider yet, but for me that isn't too big of a deal. I also prefer not to be locked into a contract, of which for the most part are really hard to get out of, without incurring gigantic fees.