Best Argument: Pre-paid
Audience Favored: Pre-paid (95%)
Here to stay
Unlocked devices definitely open up new options, especially for those with the propensity or skill level for flirting with danger. New ways to get in trouble, avoid unwanted committment, and be different will always hold an appeal -- whether for a reason, a season or a lifetime. There's nothing wrong with that.
However, for those of us who like the enhanced productivity that comes with making a decision to commit to a carefully researched, decent quality system that is appropriate for our needs, it's nice to not have to learn how to use a new phone every five minutes when our no-name carrier does something cheesey that makes us go off in a huff.
You're going to pay one way or the other. Whether you have to scrape by with an unlocked older phone, or you have to pay full freight for an un-subsidized snazzy new one, or you jailbreak it and compromise security, or you have to spend a lot of time constantly learning how to use new gear, or you have to finance getting out of a contract...the house always wins.
Let's not forget it's not all about phones. It's about devices like tablets with 4G in them. These have to connect to the corporate networks in the companies where most of us have to work in order to pay for all the electronic gadgets we love so much.
One way that companies may reap some of the advantages of BYOD but not succumb to total chaos is to give a list of acceptable devices and carriers. This list is likely to include major phone companies which usually imply contracts. If a company has chosen to provision phones and other mobile devices, they're going to contract with a major player in the mobile space to get a package deal. That way, they can wipe the devices remotely if they get lost or stolen, and set up various safeguards to save users from themselves (and save themselves from their own users).
So, the security of reliable carrier lock-in with reputable vendors is here to stay.
Not your father’s Tracfone
Pre-paid phones aren’t just for kids, grandparents, and drug dealers anymore. Increasingly, pre-paid phones are making their way into the hands of smart, savvy consumers looking to save money and upgrade phones on their own terms
The move to prepaid is being driven by four major factors:
- The Nexus 4
- The increasing availability of unlocked iPhones
- A shift among pre-paid providers to offer smartphones or SIM-only, bring your own phone plans instead of cut-rate feature phones
- Data usage caps by major carriers are too restrictive with tablets and smartphones
At the height of the PC era when it seemed like new, faster, more amazing computers were being released every week, would gamers, early adopters, and demanding users wait two or three years between upgrades? Of course not and in the post-PC era, contracted wireless and its lack of freedom and choice is quickly becoming an expensive anachronism.