Larry Magid: Unlocked Phones Offer Consumers Flexibility
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— With the demand for unlocked cell phones on the rise, their prices are on the decline; but there aren’t that many options on the market.
However, Apple announced the unlocked version of the iPhone 5 and Motorola (a Google-owned company) just unveiled their much less expensive unlocked phone, the Moto G, via their website, for under $200.
Unlocked phones had traditionally been expensive, but what’s interesting about the Moto G is that it starts at $179 unlocked. That means when you buy it, you own it. You don’t even have to get a cellular contract if you don’t want to.
Google loaned me the Nexus 5, which was released a few weeks ago for $350. It didn’t come with a SIM card, meaning it wasn’t associated with any carrier and I couldn’t use it. So, I went to AT&T, paid them $60 and bought a one-month pre-paid plan without having to sign a contract. I got a bunch of data with unlimited texts and was able to walk away at the end of the month. In fact, I can take that same phone over to T-Mobile when the pre-paid plan ends and see what kind of deal I can get there.
If I’m traveling overseas, I can just plug in a SIM card. That’s the kind of flexibility you get with having an unlocked phone.
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