It is going to be interesting to see the pricing because I think that the great "subsidy" myth is just that,a myth.
I think you are misuderstanding what the subsidy is all about. Locked phones are sold cheaper than sim free (not locked) ones. The networks sell PAYG phones at a reduced price upfront (a subsidy), in the expectation to get that and more back when you use it on their
network. That's why they simlock them, to stop you buying it and then running off to some other network, preventing them getting their subsidy back + profit. Networks use this subsidy tactic as the initial
cost of ownership is lower, sucking more people into buying an expensive phone.
The point of this thread was to show that this subsidy is of the order £80-£100 (locked San Francisco versus not locked Libra).
As we know, the Blade can easily be unlocked for free. That's why I was doubting if the ZTE Libra (~the same) will sell, unless at the same time newer San Franciscos come out which cannot
be unlocked. Ditto for the new Skate / Monte Carlo.
Different operators have different business models about how much to subsidise. You can win if you buy your phone from one that offers a big subsidy + high network rates (Orange say), unlock it, move to an operator with lower subsidy + lower network rates (Three). Three were selling the inferior ZTE Racer for the same price as Orange were selling the Blade (i.e. lower subsidy), and also have lower data charges (I just pay £5 per month and make all my calls over SIP).
Edited by Ralph Martin, 04 August 2011 - 08:22 AM.