Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Sa'eed gets his first smartphone...and immediately hates at&t

   
Author Topic: Sa'eed gets his first smartphone...and immediately hates at&t
Sa'eed
Member
Member # 12368

 - posted      Profile for Sa'eed   Email Sa'eed         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So, at last, smartphones are becoming cheap enough that devices made for less than $150 (probably) are way more impressive than premium devices released just a few years ago that required excessive subsidization which the manufacturer recouped by partnering with carriers and shoving "data plans" down people's throats:

Moto G

at&t isn't allowing me to buy that to just use as a simple mobile (voice and text). A data plan is mandatory. If you insert your sim card from a dummy phone into that, you'll be automatically charged for data plan a month after, even if you don't use the data.

I would take my business elsewhere but I'm part of a family plan and taking my business elsewhere might just end up adding to our collective costs. I have zero use for mobile data, wi-fi is everywhere (my work, library, etc.) I long considered smartphones to be veblen goods, but now the devices themselves are affordable gadgets (materially) but the dominance of certain carriers still makes it possible for customers to be squeezed.

I suppose I could carry one dummy phone and the Moto G at the same time and still get most of the "gagdety" features of the latter (camera, gaming, wifi, ipod, etc.) Maybe being able to do that is a miracle by itself. But still...

Posts: 665 | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattP
Member
Member # 10495

 - posted      Profile for MattP   Email MattP         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
If you insert your sim card from a dummy phone into that, you'll be automatically charged for data plan a month after, even if you don't use the data.
In my experience this is not correct. I don't believe that AT&T can determine the type of phone you have merely by sticking in a sim. I have used no-data sims on multiple smart phones on multiple carriers, including AT&T.

Now, if you are buying the phone from AT&T then it's true, they will not sell the phone to you at the subsidized price unless you also sign up for the data plan. You can always buy a phone at the unsubsidized price from AT&T or another vender and then use a voice-only plan with it. This is what I've done for my teenage kids who have smart phones but not data plans.

I'm not aware of any modern smartphones that could come out at less than $150 unsubsidized except for something very low-end, like a Galaxy Y. The display on that phone is substantially inferior to even the original iPhone. Most mainstream smartphones are at least $300.

Posts: 3163 | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Stephan
Member
Member # 7549

 - posted      Profile for Stephan   Email Stephan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Two words. Republic wireless.

H20 Wireless is another great one, and uses at&t phones and network.

Posts: 3091 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Elison R. Salazar
Member
Member # 8565

 - posted      Profile for Elison R. Salazar   Email Elison R. Salazar         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In Canada there's some European carriers that have superior plans but the oligarchs are trying their best to use the government to keep them out.

When my plan expires I'm not renewing it even for a new phone, though that's because I'm not sure I'll even still be in the country not long after that.

Posts: 12311 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sa'eed
Member
Member # 12368

 - posted      Profile for Sa'eed   Email Sa'eed         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
quote:
If you insert your sim card from a dummy phone into that, you'll be automatically charged for data plan a month after, even if you don't use the data.
In my experience this is not correct. I don't believe that AT&T can determine the type of phone you have merely by sticking in a sim. I have used no-data sims on multiple smart phones on multiple carriers, including AT&T.

I've spoken with several reps from at&t.

The first rep: Basically confirmed what the at&t store guy said.

Second rep: She was more helpful and said that I didn't have a problem because my number already had a data plan...a 'pay as you go' data plan...so as long as I turned off mobile data I'd have have no problem. I was satisfied for a few minutes, then decided to call again JUST to confirm.

Third rep: Yep, the last lady was full of it. After I explained my desire to this rep to use the Moto G to replace my dummy phone, she transferred me to tech support.

Tech support guy: After I explained the same thing I told the previous rep, this tech support guy, who was the most polite and empathetic out of all the techs so far, said he simply didn't know and he'd refer the question to a higher tier of tech support. After a few minutes the answer came back: If your device is considered a smartphone, you must have a data plan.

AT&T can determine what type of phone you use on their network based on some number in the phone. Right now the system still lists my older phone but eventually it will get updated to Moto G if I stick with it, which I won't.

quote:
Now, if you are buying the phone from AT&T then it's true, they will not sell the phone to you at the subsidized price unless you also sign up for the data plan. You can always buy a phone at the unsubsidized price from AT&T or another vender and then use a voice-only plan with it. This is what I've done for my teenage kids who have smart phones but not data plans.
Not sure how you did that...everyone online is swearing that it can't be done, and AT&T is willing to alienate me by telling me the same thing. Oh well.

See discussions like this.

quote:
I'm not aware of any modern smartphones that could come out at less than $150 unsubsidized except for something very low-end, like a Galaxy Y. The display on that phone is substantially inferior to even the original iPhone. Most mainstream smartphones are at least $300.
The Moto G is an Android smartphone released recently that costs $179 off contract (+$20 for higher capacity version) with the goal of it being a a midrange phone, like the iphone 5c. It's still getting rave reviews (for what it is -- a midrange phone.) The $150 figure was my estimate for the cost of producing it.

Here's a comparison of the Iphone 5C and the Moto G:

http://www.phonesreview.co.uk/2013/11/13/iphone-5c-vs-moto-g-in-colorful-comparison/

[ December 29, 2013, 03:42 PM: Message edited by: Sa'eed ]

Posts: 665 | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sa'eed
Member
Member # 12368

 - posted      Profile for Sa'eed   Email Sa'eed         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The point is that "without a data plan you'd pay full retail for your phone" isn't gonna cut it anymore as an excuse for squeezing customers, because we are soon likely to see even more devices as similarly priced and even more capable than the Moto G become available on the market.
Posts: 665 | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Elison R. Salazar
Member
Member # 8565

 - posted      Profile for Elison R. Salazar   Email Elison R. Salazar         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Why? Capitalism doesn't work that way. Arguably it should never have cut it, there was never a valid reason for them to be priced at where they are, something like a 700% markup ontop of the base cost to manufacture those devices.
Posts: 12311 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUNyVnA3_8g&noredirect=1
Posts: 13219 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Reticulum
Member
Member # 8776

 - posted      Profile for Reticulum           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sa'eed refers to self in third person, Reticulum #lulz heartily.
Posts: 2071 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2