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Google's Nexus One, a Steal At $49 Unlocked?

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the such-a-deal dept.

Android 311

gjt writes "I initially posted a piece ragging on the Nexus One. But then a commenter pointed out a problem with my initial logic, and after doing some math I concluded that the $529 unlocked/unsubsidized Google Nexus One gPhone is much cheaper than it appears to be. In fact it's only $49 over two years — and that's unlocked! Google likes to say that the Nexus One represents 'Our new approach to buying a mobile phone.' But it actually seems as though T-Mobile deserves most of the credit by providing a $20/month discount to customers who purchase an unsubsidized phone, a fact that didn't seem to get much attention when T-Mobile created the plan last October."

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311 comments

Oh god (5, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049844)

So, the real cost of an unlimited everything plan is $99.99/mo for subsidized phone buyers. Compare that to the $79.99/mo plan for unsubsidized buyers and that’s a $20/mo savings. Over two years, that’s a whopping $480 savings.

So, $529 – $480 yields a final purchase price of just $49!

Except that the phone is still $529! You're just buying the most expensive package available and think you're saving money, which makes no sense.

Everything in Europe has been traditionally unlocked and unsubsidized phones. You buy the phone and then you get a subscription from your favorite operator. They have added the subsidized option but almost no one buys his/her phone like that. It's just stupid, which the article writer seems to have "discovered" here.

Re:Oh god (4, Insightful)

ari_j (90255) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049872)

Married men understand the principal better. They are constantly saving money, thanks to their wives buying things they don't need and won't wear at 20% off.

Re:Oh god (4, Funny)

codepunk (167897) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049912)

Sounds like we are married to the same woman.

Re:Oh god (5, Funny)

bshensky (110723) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049928)

So am I. That cheating whore.

Re:Oh god (1)

wwwillem (253720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049986)

she must have bought it with 40% off, told you it was 20%, and kept the difference :-)

Re:Oh god (4, Funny)

Lucky75 (1265142) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050446)

Wow, 3 people on /. are married?

Re:Oh god (5, Funny)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050516)

Think of a wife as an PCIx16 slot. You give it resources, it makes things look pretty, takes care of a lot of ridiculous details that you wouldn't otherwise care that much about, and occasionally overheats and gets bitchy about your configuration.

Some really high-end cards allow you to spawn whole new processes, and that's worth the price of the upgrade.

Wow, Wayne Bridge reads /. !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31050300)

British football joke.

Re:Oh god (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31050418)

is that why she doesnt put out anymore?

Re:Oh god (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31049914)

But it's 20% OFF!!!

Re:Oh god (1)

eihab (823648) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049968)

But it's 20% OFF!!!

No honey, we can't buy it because it's too expensive and we don't need it!

Now, Can we keep this off of Slashdot please?

Re:Oh god (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31049980)

Shut up and go do the dishes already.

Re:Oh god (-1, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050020)

You jest, but offering to help with the dishes will give you an instant-in to her pants more than anything else will.

Just don't go for all that marriage shit, unless you live in an Islamic country where slappin' and pimpin' is commonplace. Otherwise she'll forget to take her birth control and have your baby before she leaves you paying her child support while she fucks a nigger.

Re:Oh god (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31050256)

WHAT!?!?! a girl where??? i thought this was /. you know. we're lucky to even see a woman. i think my brain just exploded.

Re:Oh god (0, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050332)

There are plenty of women on Slashdot. Just don't look below the butthole where the dangling scrotum lies, and you'll be allright. You're not a fag if you didn't know.

Re:Oh god (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31050426)

There are plenty of women on Slashdot. Just don't look below the butthole where the dangling scrotum lies, and you'll be allright. You're not a fag if you didn't know.

But I like browsing at -1!

Re:Oh god (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31050126)

Married men understand the principal better.

To be fair, though, bachelors understand the interest better.

Bulls eye... (0, Troll)

da_matta (854422) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050592)

You can usually make your SO happy by saying something in the lines of "I think we've saved enough percentages for today, honey"

It's fuzzy math (1)

gaelfx (1111115) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050720)

Seriously, I never understood the whole "you have to spend money to save money" mentality that so many people have. When you spend money that you don't need to spend, that's a loss in my book, even if the discount is 99%. But hey, kudos to the guy for pointing out that you don't need to be tied to the service if you're going to buy the phone anyways, you may as well get the unlocked version and do some crazy custom modding, which will cost you more time, and arguably more money.

Re:Oh god (4, Informative)

santax (1541065) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049886)

I have no clue in what country you life but I assure that everything in the Benelux + Germany is locked. You get the phone for 'free' and a laptop or in some cases even a car.... but the phone is locked and your contract too. Almost nobody buys a phone here (unlocked for the full price) and then goes to see which provider is best. Wouldn't make sense either, all the providers have equal coverage and price difference's are small.

Re:Oh god (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31050006)

You're right, mobile phones are locked by default in most of Europe: at least in Benelux, Germany, Poland, the Czech republic, Slovakia, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.

sopssa is probably located in Scandinavia and is talking out of his ass making assumptions about phones being unlocked in Europe by default. Check your facts before posting sopssa.

sopssa backwards = ass P.o.S., how true.

Re:Oh god (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31050508)

Goddamn! What is up with slashdot today? There's a few good posts that are getting modded down, because they started with something that probably would have gotten modded up but then finished with something that will probably get modded down no matter what. Though ass P.o.S. gave me a good laugh...

Re:Oh god (1, Funny)

adolf (21054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050618)

This is the new, improved, Slashdot 2.0: Now SFW, and certified to be wholesome by honest and genuine Care Bears.

Re:Oh god (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050108)

If the phone is locked can you use it in a different country without restrictions? Can you buy a SIM in a different country and use that SIM while you are away? If not, there are good reasons to buy an unlocked phone.

Re:Oh god (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050234)

I have no clue in what country you life but I assure that everything in the Benelux + Germany is locked. You get the phone for 'free' and a laptop or in some cases even a car.... but the phone is locked and your contract too. Almost nobody buys a phone here (unlocked for the full price) and then goes to see which provider is best. Wouldn't make sense either, all the providers have equal coverage and price difference's are small.

Things must have changed since 2001 when I (and most soldiers I knew) bought cell phones at full price and then got SIM cards for D2, etc.

I moved to italy and it was the same deal. I really liked the european cell-phone system... I miss it...

Re:Oh god (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31050342)

BS, I am using Vodafone pre-paid cards on an unlocked phone without a contract in Germany...

Re:Oh god (4, Informative)

TBoon (1381891) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050402)

Here in Norway you can easily get both locked and unlocked phones, though pretty much all advertised products are locked. Typically for 1 year, after which unlocking is a phonecall away. Done this myself twice, never any hassle. However, with the exception of the phone I got 4 years ago (locked a single month, at a 150 euro discount), taking the bundled contracts seem to always come out more expensive than getting an unlocked phone and choosing another contract that suites your usage pattern. No idea how the sales-ratio between locked/unlocked phones are.

Re:Oh god (5, Informative)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049888)

Yeah, the more sensible comparison is $2,579 for the subsidized phone+contract, and $2,449 for the unsubsidized phone+contract.

Re:Oh god (0, Troll)

hayd (1734904) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049892)

1) Get a $99 cheaper plan than the $99.99 one
2) Buy Nexus One
3) Two years later you have earned $2400!

And no need for ???? !

Re:Oh god (2, Funny)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050028)

:O Check your email, we're doing this. I'll call some VC people, you call cell providers and see if we can get a bulk discount. We're going to make millions!

Re:Oh god (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049896)

Everything in Europe has been traditionally unlocked and unsubsidized phones.

For a long time, I didn't even understand why /. is so hung up about phone plans. "Why don't you just buy a prepay one?"

Feature phones (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049938)

For a long time, I didn't even understand why /. is so hung up about phone plans. "Why don't you just buy a prepay one?"

I'm pretty sure it has a lot to do with the fact that Slashdot is hosted and operated in the United States for the primary benefit of readers in the United States [slashdot.org] . The handsets sold in big-box stores in the United States for use with prepaid plans in the United States are still locked to one provider, and they're feature phones rather than smartphones. Feature phones tend to have fewer apps because 1. there isn't a lot of CPU power, and 2. BREW is even more restrictive than Apple's App Store.

Re:Oh god (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050328)

"Why don't you just buy a prepay one?"

Prepay doesn't have data.

Re:Oh god (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31050576)

I pay a 15 Euro/month flatrate for 5GB of data (HSDPA, capped to GPRS after 5GB) on my prepaid carrier. So...no.

not true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31050680)

Boost mobile. $50 a month, tax included most places, prepay, pick up the cards anyplace for cash. Unlimited talk, text, data, PTT walkie talkie. You get everything at that price, and they have some branded cheap phones to some snazzier feature phones, and you can make a variety of nextel i series smart phones work on the network as well iden network), just buy one of those if you must have a more powerful phone, then get an activation SIM card. Google is your friend there. Data cable to your PC or bluetooth synch. Surfs just fine, I used mine today for about an hour. Not the fastest, but similar to old dialup speeds, still useful enough. In some markets now they have CDMA phones as well, so you can get even better data speed.

Re:Oh god (1)

Bourdain (683477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049898)

Perhaps, but T-Mobile is, as far I know, the only US carrier which gives any discount for unsubsidized buyers

Thank our lobbyist fueled legislature for that

Re:Oh god (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050336)

Discount? URL?

Re:Oh god (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050470)

The URL would be t-mobile.com.

Re:Oh god (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050524)

The T-Mobile web site says nothing about any discounts. Only standard plans.

Re:Oh god (1)

Glendale2x (210533) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050712)

As far as I can tell, it's the no-contract "Even More Plus" (which appear to be $10 less than the 2-year term ones) and you choose the free SIM card instead of a phone.

Re:Oh god (1)

the1337g33k (1268908) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049910)

But you really are saving money here, that may not be how things are done in europe that thats how they are unfortunately done here.

If you buy from t-mobile under contract, you have to pay $180 for the phone and you don't get the discount. When you buy the phone at full price and get the discount, you save about $130 after 2 years (provided my math is correct).

I don't know about you, but that sure looks like saving money to me. Even if it does take 2 years to get actually see it.

Re:Oh god (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31049930)

Except that the phone is still $529! You're just buying the most expensive package available and think you're saving money, which makes no sense.

Sopssa, the $529 version is cheaper after two years. I don't remember exactly, but it's around $150 cheaper.

That's not including taxes charged.

So it makes perfect sense to think you're saving money, since you actually are.

Re:Oh god (2, Informative)

seamonkey420 (1570909) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050022)

really? do people not realize that some of us on Tmobile have been grandfathered into amazingly cheap data plans such as the Tzones $5.99 unlimited data plan?
unlocked phones in the USA are always expensive. nothing new there.

lets see...
$5.99 x 12 = $71.88 / year for full data
VS
$39.99 x 12 = $479,88 / year for full data

sure, i save a few hundred on teh cost of the device via subsidization but in that year i just increased my overall data service charges by $400. and we wonder why america is hurting financially. its about the long term of things and not being locked into a contract. i'll pay that $530 up front and keep my amazing plan. just my .02 on that.

Re:Oh god (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050480)

Same deal here. I had that crappy T-Zones plan for my old RAZR which I barely used, but now that I got a Nexus One I'm suddenly glad I had it for all these years!

Re:Oh god (2, Informative)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050080)

Where exactly in Europe are you talking about because it's the complete opposite in the UK where everyone gets a phone with their 1 or 2 year contract. Another person mentioned it is the same in Germany too. This would seem to invalidate your "everything in Europe claim".

The only place I know where people buy the Phone and then a contract is in my homeland of Thailand.

Re:Oh god (1)

f1vlad (1253784) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050162)

And in EU you pay full price of the device. If you buy it without contract that is. What is this novice concept in USA that everyone's so freaked out about? You buy a phone, you pay its retail price. It's normal.

I do realise it'll take years for people (of USA) to realise that their phones cost much more than they paid [when they renewed the contract].

There are two plans at T-Mobile. One is when you get cheap phone, you pay $99 all unlimited. Or (!) you get identical T-Mobile plan for only $79 ($20 less per month). But you do pay for the phone yourself; you do not get subsidized. If you do the math, on most of the phones you _will_ save money if you pay full price for the phone.

Refer here for more info: http://www.engadget.com/2009/10/25/t-mobile-officially-unveils-99-even-more-79-even-more-plus-pl/ [engadget.com]

Re:Oh god (1)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050244)

And this was talked about quite a bit upon release, so it did get a lot of attention on tech sites. gjt just wasn't paying attention and was too busy blogging. Then a commenter calls him out for being wrong and he submits to /. that he was wrong? What the Hell?

Re:Oh god (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31050352)

Well he did have his Amazon affiliate links blasted all over the both linked articles too, for example for terms like "unlocked phones". Either he's stupid or hopes to make some sales by submitting slashdot story.

Re:Oh god (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31050200)

How does this work for phones that are offered for free in the United States which don't require any special plan.

Re:Oh god (4, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050202)

Speak for yourself.

In Germany, almost everybody bought subsidized phones until maybe 1-2 years ago. But you always had the option to buy a unsubsidized phone. Which still was unlocked. (I have yet so see a single locked phone or offer in Germany.)

Luckily, nowadays, the prepaid options available are so great (e.h. blau), that there is no point in buying a subsidized one with a plan, unless you need one of those flat-rate deals where you pay nothing to call others in the same net (usually BASE & re-branded clones of it, or a local dealer like Alice).

And with even the “candybar” Nokia 5800 costing only than 250€, it’s possible to buy a phone just like that.

By the way: Wouldn’t you get a N900 for $529? With keyboard, Debian Linux / Maemo, etc?

What's a better deal? (1)

Deathwish238 (913201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050274)

You can pay a $530 up front and save $480 equalling $50 or pay $180 up front and then another $480 over two years equalling $660.

Which is a better deal? $50 or $660 w/ contract?

Yes Europe's cell phone system is better, but that is not the argument at hand and most Americans don't really care as we can do little to nothing about it.

Re:What's a better deal? (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050482)

You can pay a $530 up front and save $480 equalling $50 or pay $180 up front and then another $480 over two years equalling $660.

Your math is wrong, since you are subtracting $480 from one scenario and adding $480 to the other.

You either subtract $480 from one or add $480 to the other, but not both.

This post [slashdot.org] has the correct math.

Re:What's a better deal? (1)

Deathwish238 (913201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050550)

hmm..you're right. I was a bit surprised by my math haha... So it's $530 vs $660...either way, unsubsidized is a better deal

Re:What's a better deal? (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050606)

That is only of course if you're going for the most expensive $99/month plan. Pick any other and it's not so anymore. And in both cases the total costs will be around $2,500 for two years.

Re:What's a better deal? (1)

Deathwish238 (913201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050696)

It is so with their cheapest plan(since that is what I would get) as well. 500 + text/web is $59.99 w/o contract. 500 + text/web is $79.99 w/ contract. $20 per month difference either way which is $480 after two years.

Re:Oh god (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31050644)

Ya thank god for all those laws helping the consumer, oh wait, they aren't

Different math (5, Funny)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049904)

Dear poster,

Your math is unlike my math. I have concluded that your math sounds like something a statistician would produce to justify something completely ass backwards.

Sincerely,
John Q Public

Re:Different math (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31050214)

Dear BitZtream,

Please don't insult me and my brethren by comparing this poster's maths to our statistics.

Sincerely,
John Q Statistician

Re:Different math (1)

snikulin (889460) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050428)

That's called 'Bistromathics'
To quote:
Numbers written on restaurant bills within the confines of restaurants do not follow the same mathematical laws as numbers written on any other pieces of paper in any other parts of the Universe.

And please turn back your nerd ID, if you please.

Idiot...ish (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049936)

The fool doesn't understand the point of getting an "unlocked" phone.

On the other hand, there are only two choices in the US - AT&T and T-Mobile - so perhaps he's not such an idiot after all...

That's not a choice... (5, Informative)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050182)

The Nexus One (like all Android phones) is data-hungry. It wants a 3G signal to perform well. EDGE sucks so bad you woild give the phone back.

Since there may not be ANY phone sold in the US that does 3G on both AT&T and T-Mobile, your choice of Android phone pretty much determines which carrier you use - you don't want to buy a Nexus One for use on AT&T, since it will be a slow data phone. Ditto for buying an iPhone 3G or 3GS to use on T-Mobile. It will be slow and disappointing.

Locking GSM data-intensive phones in the US is pointless, and a complete lie. If you want a 3G phone, your carrier determines which phone you buy. For now, anyways.

Now, when there is a 3G 'smartphone', Android or not, that can handle both A&T and T-Mobile 3G, then locking becomes important again. But for now, Android GSM phones need not be locked, and smart people at the carriers know this. They just go along as they always have, cause it makes sense to most of us.

On the CDMA side, it's more interesting.

In Europe, it seems GSM is pretty compatible. And locking is not a viable business model there.

So if you buy a locked Android phone, you know at least one party doesn't get it.

Re:That's not a choice... (1)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050210)

I read that the maker of the 3G chips HTC uses has a chip that can do both T-Mobile and AT&T networks. They just "released" it so it might take a while for a refresh of unlocked phones that can do either network.

Re:That's not a choice... (1)

yincrash (854885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050500)

according to erick tseng, a google android product manager, both the subsidized and unsubsidized nexus one's are unlocked. but like you said, it doesn't truly matter in the US

Re:Idiot...ish (1)

Potor (658520) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050444)

T-Mobile can be alright if you're careful (although the coverage is not seamless).

I bought an unlocked phone in Europe for EUR 49, and use T-mobile cards in the States, where I spend about 8 months a year.

I have no land-line, and yet I spend less than $50 every quarter on phone cards. Skype and Skype-to-go really help cut down costs.

I found the 'defective by design' aspect (4, Insightful)

MacDork (560499) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049942)

the most interesting: [gadgetopolis.com]

So, Google/HTC could have very easily made this one phone model compatible with not only T-Mobile and AT&T, but pretty much any 3GSM network worldwide if they only included the right combination of power amplifiers. According to iSuppli’s teardown of the Nexus One, [isuppli.com] the four small power amplifiers that are in the Nexus One only account for $2.20 in manufacturing costs. $2.20! How much more could a different combination of power amplifiers have cost? Maybe another $2 (at most)?!

It just sounds like a deliberate decision to aid the wireless carrier oligopoly. Given that we’ve seen HTC’s FCC documents to introduce an AT&T oriented version of the Nexus One, you’d think that overall engineering, manufacturing, warehousing, and sales expenses would be lowered enough by offering a single model that could replace two.

The deliberate lack of network compatibility is simply bewildering.

What was that about not being evil again?

Re:I found the 'defective by design' aspect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31050052)

This assumes that the additional board space for more PAs and the antenna design to cover all bands would have no other impact on the industrial design.

Reality: it would have increased device thickness by about 2mm.

Re:I found the 'defective by design' aspect (0, Troll)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050154)

It assumes lots of things. Leading me to assume the guy is not an engineer and just a whiney idiot.

Re:I found the 'defective by design' aspect (1)

Nightspirit (846159) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050650)

The HTC HD2 is a worldwide phone and is thinner than the iphone, so it is likely they have the space.

Re:I found the 'defective by design' aspect (5, Insightful)

evanbd (210358) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050056)

In other news, in the real world, adding chips to a design doesn't just cost component + assembly costs. It also increases the size of the device, and possibly the power consumption (though these can probably be put into a low enough power mode that it doesn't matter).

Making the device larger and heavier isn't something that's done lightly. Sure, this would only add a little bit, but *any* individual feature only adds a little bit. You have to draw a line somewhere.

That said, I'd like it better if it supported more networks, too...

Re:I found the 'defective by design' aspect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31050512)

Power consumption -- not a problem. You turn off the one you're not using.

Re:I found the 'defective by design' aspect (2, Informative)

marcmerlin (48598) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050150)

since you're not a radio and hardware engineer, I guess it's not obvious to you that putting antennas and electronics for different frequencies does cost board space. It's not impossible but it's hard on a small phone and definitely more money.
Yes, I'd also love a phone that does it all, but they aren't exactly common. It's not just HTC, it's pretty much everyone.

Re:I found the 'defective by design' aspect (1)

Nightspirit (846159) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050640)

Especially if you look at the HTC Imagio on Verizon it is a worldwide phone that can use both CDMA and GSM bands. The GSM bands are locked in the US but if you call verizon and tell them you are going traveling you can get an unlock code so you can use it with pretty much any provider. So the only reason the nexus is locked down is insistence from T-mobile or Google.

How does this work? (2, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049950)

To me the math is simple, unless T-Mobile and Android is engaging in false advertising. The price is $179 which seems high for an HTC smart phone. Monthly is about $85. Two year cost is around $2200.

On the other hand one can buy the phone and the same two year cost will be about the same. This would be the reasonable thing to do as you would not incur the wrath of the Google termination fee.

I don't even know why anyone would by a Nexus 1, since one can get a no contract phone from T-Mobile for much less and have the same fee.

I wonder if Google is setting such high prices to keep the cell companies happy, or if they are actually so inefficient that they can't market the phone for less.

Re:How does this work? (2, Insightful)

seamonkey420 (1570909) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050138)

the other phones that tmobile offer do not come close to the power the nexus one has. there's a reason why i don't own a mytouch or cliq. too slow of a cpu for AR based apps.

if people really were looking to save money, they'd:

1. call tmobile and get the tzone's $5.99 plan (some social hacking is involved since they claim it does not exist but it does.. you just gotta push).
2. buy the phone unlocked
3. have an unlimited data plan that works on an unlocked iPhone, Blackberry and any Android phone

Re:How does this work? (1)

yincrash (854885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050232)

Most of your post doesn't make sense. You can buy the phone full price and get on an unsubsidized plan for about $65 a month. $20 * 24 months = $480. full price of phone - $480 $180 (subsidized price) with contract

did anyone actually buy a Nexus One? (0, Troll)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049978)

someone carried a story yesterday that Google has sold only 80,000 so far. 20,000 were sold at launch. even apple sold more of the original iphone 2G.

fact is that Google has to rely on it's Android partners to advance the platform and they can't be successful in selling their own handset since no one wants to help a competitor.

they already probably have enough problems with their partners who are competitors coding new features in secret and only releasing the code after the product is released. Android has been fairly successful as a platform, but it's only the cheapest manufacturers making the phones for it. Samsung, HTC and LG who make dozens of new handsets every year, each one sells a few and the marketing departments are overworked trying to find new names for next years models. it's almost like they only company it's hurting is Microsoft. Apple and Blackberry don't seem hurt by Android.

I Did. and i freakin love it! (3, Interesting)

seamonkey420 (1570909) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050092)

i read a comment over at gizmodo that actually did seem to make sense.

google's release of the Nexus One is more of a raising the bar for other android hardware makers and in turn they didn't expect to sell tons of units or set the world on fire. rather, they are making other android handset makers step up their game to compete. plus, they can also test their device on a smaller carrier prior to unleashing it into the large boys like verizon and at&t.

just my .02 like always (cuz you know with the interwebz, we all have our .02, hehe).

oh yea, the fewer people that have the Nexus One, the better for me. makes me feel special. j/k.. i think we'll see the nexus one take off when it hits a bigger carrier like verizon later this spring.

Re:I Did. and i freakin love it! (2, Insightful)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050582)

I got one too and I love it. I'm not at all surprised about the low sales so far though, there's been no marketing. I'm guessing they wanted to start slow to work out the kinks and once it hits Verizon they'll probably step up the marketing and it will take off.

Re:did anyone actually buy a Nexus One? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050142)

They've developed a new business model.

1. depend on partners
2. piss off partners
3. ????

Obviously this person is not financially literate (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31050008)

I know this is Slashdot, where only literacy in Linux is a requirement. Nonetheless:

This guy seems to conflate sunk and running costs.

Let's use the numbers he gives. Then we have two options:

Subsidized: {$179.00} + {$79.99/month . 24 months} = $179.00 + $1919.76 = $2098.76 (1)
Unsubsidized: {$529.00} + {$99.99/month . 24 months} = $529.00 + $2399.76 = $2928.76 (2)

You are paying $830 more for the unsubsidized phone.

The article's assertion that $529 - $480 is what the phone really costs is incorrect, since if you are buying the unsubsidized phone, the running costs are those of the unsubsidized phone, rather than the subsidized one. Or see it this way: He is saying that what will effectively come out of your pocket for the unsubsidized phone is

$529 - $480 = $529 - {$2399.76 - $1919.76} = $529 - $2399.76 + $1919.76

which is at odds with (1) and (2) above. I.e. to arrive at his number you are buying the unsubsidized phone, paying the subsidized running costs, and on top of that somehow receiving the money for the unsubsidized running costs!

Ooops (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050066)

You flipped the monthly rates there, the monthly plan is, unsurprisingly, cheaper with the unsubsidized phone, not the subsidized phone.

Re:Ooops (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31050102)

Whoops indeed... thanks for pointing out my non-preview stupidity. So (1) is $2578.76 and (2) is $2448.76.

The bottom line should read

"to arrive at his number you are buying the unsubsidized phone, paying the unsubsidized running costs, and on top of that somehow receiving the money for the subsidized running costs!"

Re:Obviously this person is not financially litera (1)

Arker (91948) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050072)

Are they really charging *more* for the same service if you bring your own phone?

That is utterly insane BS, although about what I would expect from my past dealings with US mobile phone companies. Why in the hell do people put up with that?

Re:Obviously this person is not financially litera (1)

swimin (828756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050076)

I think you have the Unsubsidized and Subsidized prices backwards. The subsidized price is $99.99 and the unsubsidized price is $79.99. $20 discount for not getting the initial phone purchase subsidized.

Re:Obviously this person is not financially litera (4, Informative)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050112)

I think you've got the plans backwards. Tmobile is discounting the unsubsidized plans $20 (basically, you are making up the subsidy in $20 increments over the life of the contract).

$179 + $99.99 * 24 = $179 + 2399.76 = $2578.76 Subsidized
$529 + $79.99 * 24 = $529 + $1919.76 = $2448.76 Unsubsidized

Difference is $130 in favor of the unsubsidized.

Re:Obviously this person is not financially litera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31050240)

You also run into the fact that truly money savvy people can take that "extra" $350 and make more than $130 in 2 years. Opportunity cost is present as well. And that's the reason why not paying up front can be better in the long run for some people. At least on a small scale, it should be reasonable. (now taking $35000 and making $13000 more might be a little harder to come by, and I won't argue against that).

Re:Obviously this person is not financially litera (1)

yincrash (854885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050518)

Most people really aren't that money savvy though. And buying subsidized binds you into a 2 year contract replete with 2 ETFs for at least a couple of months.

boo, advertising (2, Interesting)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050036)

Google getting desperate [theinquirer.net] and subtly spamming slashdot now? Hey, perhaps people just don't want a phone made by the "maybeyou shouldn't be doing it in the first place" guys?

Epic Math Fail (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31050096)

Epic Fail.

"...T-Mobile deserves most of the credit..." (3, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050228)

Not possible. T-Mobile is a cellphone company and therefor irredeemably evil. They cannot possibly deserve any credit for anything. I'm sure someone will explain how it is all really a plot to deprive you of your inalienable human right to unlimited free downloads and uncapped infinite bandwidth.

The RIAA is behind it. Mark my words.

Innumeracy ! (1)

redelm (54142) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050422)

... even here at SlashDot, society is infested with the innumerates! Arrrrh!

A DISCOUNT cannot be applied to a purchase price until/unless it is clear of other conditions. In this case, a 24 month service "contract".

The $20/mo can only be considered if the contract price is fully competitive with the offer you would otherwise take. Personally, I consider $60-75/mo utterly outrageous. The $20/mo makes them slightly less outrageous, but still usurous. I have a nice grandfathered sweet deal at $2-4/mo, but more than $40 is just plain extortion.

iPhone FTW (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31050430)

Logic says the iPhone is the better device and the real bargain.

Re:iPhone FTW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31050610)

WTF logic are you using? The kind made up in your own head with no grounds in real life? That's the only kind of logic I could see saying that. Now, in your opinion, ok. But then don't go saying stupid bullshit like "Logic says [whatever]" when it has nothing to do with logic. You're a piece of shit.

Enough of this promotion shit! (5, Insightful)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050462)

Aren't you guys tired of reading all the time the same big-brother phone-add "news" on slashdot? Since when this site started covering a 4 months old price as a news? What exactly do we learn here? Are moderators sold to google? Aren't the adds on google itself enough? If this was mobile phone dot com why not, but I (and I believe, the vast majority of readers here) are reading to learn about new stuffs in the IT world.
I'm getting sick of so much promotion for a device that doesn't deserves it and that is taking so much space and time on the web.

Re:Enough of this promotion shit! (1)

bnenning (58349) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050596)

If this was mobile phone dot com why not, but I (and I believe, the vast majority of readers here) are reading to learn about new stuffs in the IT world.

Phones are the new stuff in the IT world. In 10 years, traditional desktops and laptops will be much less common, and most people will use phones (really, handheld computers that also make phone calls) and tablets. And hopefully glasses with heads-up displays.

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