Sunday Evening Chat: Unlocked phones, is it time?


Regular Member
Rescue Squad
Dec 23, 2009
Reaction score
Before I get to the main topic want to take some time to catch up on some weekend stories. If you had not heard we were able to get a good look at the Droid Turbo thanks to a few media outlets. The Droid will be officially announced this Tuesday with pre-order and purchase dates expected to be announced.


This looks the part as the true successor to the Droid Razr, DROID!!!!!

On to todays topic: Is it not time for unlocked device to be the staple in stores?
Looking at the Nexus 6 and the freedom that will come with it as a consumer I finally am in a position where I can purchase my device and decide what carrier I want to provide the service. This is big because if a carrier decides to start nickeling and diming me, stop improving their infrastructure and tech, or I want to save money I have the option to go any where I want and not have to be concerned about paying an early out or begging the carrier to unlock my phone so I an use (limited) it elsewhere, some devices when unlocked may not work on another carrier's LTE. If we had more unlocked devices we as consumers could have an even louder voice on what we expect out of our carrier. Another benefit is since the consumer is buying the device and taking full responsibility for the upfront cost we can demand a device without a locked bootloader or carrier bloat. This is key especially if you had the chance to read Chainfire's, developer of SuperSU, post regarding the Android L software. Just to sum up the post the latest software may require root on the boot level. This may result in it being difficult, if not possible, to root without unlocking the bootloader. If you care about rooting I highly recommend you read the post hyperlinked.

The cons to unlocked phones: You are responsible for bringing the device which means no more carrier subsidizing the purchase. For many $600-$800 is a lot of money to pay at one time, hence the willingness to give up some freedoms in order to be able to make payment plans.

My question for you is knowing what we now know about the true freedom we have with unlocked devices (sim unlocked), whether it be iPhone, Android, or Window, are we ready to embrace the era of fully unlocked devices?

And if we were to go unlocked devices would we see changes from carriers doing more to please their customers knowing that customers can just leave at the drop of a bucket?

I do not think carrier unlocked devices will ever be as popular here as it is overseas. The reality is the average American can not see paying the same money for a cell phone as a flat screen TV. No matter how you try and break down the idea that the phone is subsidized most people will only concentrate on the sticker price plus if you are a customer who lover your carrier and do not see yourself going anywhere for 2 years they are willing to pay less now if it means paying an extra 30-40 a month tacked on to their bill every month.

To end today's chat of the phones announced this fall what announcement impressed you the most/least?


Silver Member
Sep 5, 2011
Reaction score
Well, that additional feature of the Nexus 6 is one more that makes me lean heavily toward it. Do consider, however, that most phones being produced now are compatible on the majority of networks. VZ devices can be taken to TMobile, AT&T, and US Cellular relatively easily. There still remains the issue of the inability to get onto VZ or Sprint with some other carrier's devices due to the nature of CDMA networking, but for the most part this is the direction things are going. Qualcomm and other hardware manufacturers are making their systems multi-band compatible by default, and I don't see them going backwards in that regard

I have to agree with your last paragraph. It is clear that many here are still willing to accept subsidizing to get devices at discount up front, though in the long run many of those plans where the device is paid for monthly as part of the bill end up costing more over the life of the contract. I'm still on unlimited data, so I don't have a choice but to buy at full retail. Since I am in that position, I'd like to speak with my wallet. I could buy a Note 4 or Droid Turbo, but with the restrictions that both Samsung and Verizon bring to those devices, I still would not truly own the device that I paid $600+ for. The Nexus 6 will likely be my next purchase, unless I decide to hold out for the HTC One M9.

The issue of purchasing truly unlocked phones will continue to be only partially viable as long as phone release requires direct cooperation with the carriers to work on their network as in Sprint and Verizon's case, but I believe things will only continue to improve. I guess time will tell.


Droid Does
Apr 13, 2012
Reaction score
South Coast
Current Phone Model
Note Edge - iPhone 6 Plus
I haven't purchased a subsidized phone in a very long time. I can't simply because AT&T refuses to unlock them for overseas usage if I sign up for a two year contract.

I haven't used an LTE device since the frequencies don't jive with Exynos not supporting U.S. LTE bands.

I'm not sure why carriers insist on factory branding their phones unless they want a double layer of financial balls and chains knowing you would have to pay an ETF and then pay for another phone for a different carrier afterwards.

I get a lot of "you are eligible for an upgrade" messages from them. Typically because they want to strip my unlimited plans for something far worse than what I have.

I will be moving to Tmo in December. I'm not even sure if our phones will work completely on Tmo which shouldn't ever have to be a consideration in the first place. They should work everywhere.