Why the US is poised for off-contract shift (Smartphones Unlocked)
Better smartphone choices and greater consumer awareness are two reasons to abandon the two-year tether.
by Jessica Dolcourt
November 16, 2013 12:00 AM PST
Bought off-contract, Google's Nexus 5 offers tremendous value.
For about as long as there have been cell phones, US carriers have had a stranglehold over the purchasing experience. The two-year contract has reigned supreme here in the States, with providers heavily subsidizing the cost of high-priced handsets. But for some buyers, times are changing.
T-Mobile's brassy, vocal assault on the status quo is making the retail cost of smartphones more transparent, while Google's lower-cost Nexus is a sure to lure customers away from premium-priced phones.
While the majority of phone customers are likely to stick with the contract formula, especially if they're on a family plan already, others are showing greater interest in no-contract commitments.
Phone choice: A better spread
If there's one poster phone for the no-contract experience, it's Google's Nexus 5. Made by LG, but sold off-contract in the US by Google through its Play Store and T-Mobile, the Nexus 5 loudly challenges the merits of higher-priced rivals with its high-end specs and affordable $350 cost.
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Sprint and AT&T also sell the Nexus 5 on contract, but here in the US, the Nexus 5's sub-$400 sticker price is a steal for a handset that has a more up-to-date...