Whether you should buy a smartphone from its manufacturer or through a cell carrier has always been a topic of debate. There are both pros and cons to each, and this week we may have received some indication as to which option you’ve been electing for.
So, does where you buy a smartphone matter? The answer is no, if you’re an average customer. Yes, if you care about software updates, switching in and out SIMs, and want the best possible deal. Often times, if you’re looking to sign up a fresh line or lines, carriers will offer you some incentive on the best smartphones, such as a reduced rate. This is because, carriers know that if you’re paying with installments, it’s likely you’ll also be paying for their service. Carriers are also known to host some of the better deals, partly attributed to the same reasoning that it’s likely they’ll make money off you in the long-run for being connected to their network. So if you’re a switcher or someone bonded to a particular carrier and don’t care for speedy software updates nor the ability to switch carriers frequently, buying through your cell carrier is the best route.
If you’re like me and care about receiving Android software updates and security patches in a timely manner, odds are you probably bought your phone unlocked from the manufacturer who made it or a retail channel. We all know why unlocked phones and tablets are provided with updates faster, and we invite you to learn more by following our Droid Updates Weekly Series and signing up for our email newsletter. But there’s another reason why you might want to consider buying unlocked, and that’s the ability to more easily switch between networks, plans and phones. If your phone is unlocked, it probably works on at least three of the four major networks in the US. If this sounds familiar, definitely consider buying your next device unlocked from its manufacturer.
More and more people seem to be realizing the value that comes with purchasing unlocked. Though it costs more, benefits may be enough to outweigh the added price. Is it just a coincidence that smartwatch sales on Verizon are declining? How about smartphone sales on Sprint? The market is about to be shaken up, the most it has been shaken up probably ever. Read our stories from this week at the links below.
This brings us to our poll of the week. Where do you buy your devices from? Does any of the above concern you? Are you surprised that more companies today are selling their phones unlocked without retail channels? What will the future be like? Let us know by voting in our weekly poll or by dropping a comment below. The poll will remain open all week and we look forward to hearing your response.
Below are the major headlines from this week. Click any to be redirected to the full story.
Verizon’s Wear24 Android Wear smartwatch is no longer available
Industry analyst estimates Sprint to have sold only 5,000 Essential PH-1 smartphones
Sprint and T-Mobile merger could happen sooner than we think
If you want to hear our opinions, come to chat with DT during our next Connect+ Live Chat Session. See the upcoming schedule here.