Sour Grapes
Of course we're Fair and Balanced!


Let your mobile carrier subsidize any phone you want

I saw this scheme in Dave Farber's IP List; he got it from Brad Templeton's blog, and Brad got it from Al Chang. The following just the essence of it; see Brad's blog entry for more details and related suggestions.

Go out and buy the phone you want, unlocked (or locked to the carrier you plan to use) from whatever source you like, including cell dealers, Amazon, Dell or eBay.

Next go to your carrier's web site and find the *most* subsidized phone they sell which works with the plan you intend to use. Find the most subsidized phone by looking at the subsidy price, and comparing it to the typical "completed auction" price on eBay for a no-contract (locked or unlocked) phone....

[S]ign up for new service, buying that subsidized phone. When you get the phone, pull out the SIM card and put it in the phone you actually wanted. So long as the plan you got is compatible with your phone of true desire, all should be happy. And now you have a no-SIM (locked) expensive phone you got with a subsidy.

Sell that phone on eBay or Craigslist.... [Y]ou will sell the phone for a bit below its *real* price. But you only paid the subsidized price, so you pocket the difference. In effect, it has reduced your price on the phone you wanted. If the phone you wanted is cheap, you may get more of a subsidy than it actually cost you.

Nifty, eh? Aren't free markets great?

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