Jan 24, 2007

Reach Out and Unlock Someone

CNet has a great little story today on why we're likely to see more and more "unlocked" cell phones coming into the U.S. market. Unlocked phones are devices that can be used on any carrier's network, instead of the current model where cellular carriers subsidize the cost of new phones to attract adn retain customers. Notice this juicy little nugget about the iPhone:

But experts say tiny cracks are forming in the current model that could challenge mobile operators' dominance whether they like it or not. Apple, with its iPhone, has the brand recognition and established retail channel to easily sell millions of devices on its own. Initially, that device, whose price starts at $499, will be sold exclusively through Cingular. But experts say it's possible that Apple may eventually sell it directly to consumers.

"I think the first time there will be a threat will be if Apple unlocks the iPhone and sells it in its stores," said Lin. "It's already priced near the high end, so subsidies won't make much difference, and Apple already has such good brand recognition."

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