Are phones getting out of hand?

Are phones getting out of hand?

Are phones getting out of hand?

I'm Experienced Level 1

Are phones getting out of hand?

I was watching the NASCAR race on NBC (yes, I have an antenna and get US TV stations) and saw an ad from Verizon.

Get the new Apple 11 phone, they will eat US$700 of the price on a 2 year contract.

Option A. crazy that any provider can eat US$700 over 24 months on a phone especially when they offer 4 lines unlimited data (throttled, not all LTE) for US$100 a month.

Option B. that any customer would pay the difference for a phone that doesn't have 5G capability so will be obsolete in less than the 2 year contract..

Or maybe it's Option C. 🤔



I'm Experienced Level 1

I hate replying to my own posts. 

But there is an election on, and reigning in the costs of cell phones is championed by at least one party. And likely a talking point for any candidate of any stripe that you talk to.


Take it for given that the cost to have a customer is ~$22/month. Baseline monthly minimum account maintenance fee, whether or not they use any consumable service. Enbridge/Union Gas and Hydro One are comparable examples in my own space. Corporate, Customer Support, Billing, Lawyers and Lobbyists.

Then lets say you can get $480 credit towards a phone of your choice. Not unreasonable. $20 a month in a 2 year (24 month) contract. Lots of people absolutely could not afford a smart phone if it wasn't financed by the service provider. And having a phone and data is close to if not already an essential service.

So we are up to $40-45 a month - and you haven't even used a consumable service.

Even the BYOD plans seem to include a cost allowance so the provider can offer the customer a phone upgrade at some future point. I haven't been a FIDO customer for a year and have already once been been offered a $0 phone.

Then add data. Maybe a little - I get by with 4Gb. My wife has a BELL phone with 10Gb and a FIDO phone with 10Gb and uses almost everything on both every month. So add some $$. Towers and infrastructure,  site leases, network engineers, contractors, maintenance, upgrades, expansion.

 It all adds up.


Phone costs are going up faster than inflation it seems. New phones = new technology = higher cost allowance cost. Unless they cap the subsidy and ask people to pay more up front for a phone. Which only forces people to keep older phones and lose the edge of the current technology. Like bringing a knife to a gunfight.


But I have three phones side by side. A BELL phone that has only 3G service. A TELUS phone that isn't even network supported by TELUS in these parts, they contract out network carriage to BELL so if you have TELUS you get what BELL offers - 3G. And my FIDO phone with 4G LTE most times, sometimes only 4G. And the providers are gearing up to roll out 5G. Not provide at least 4G to everyone everywhere first. I have roamed a number of times recently off FIDO and been denied anything but voice calling on the -EXT networks that auto-connect to here in my patch of Ontario. Little yellow triangle = bad news.


And it seems everyone wants 5G = smart homes, smart phones, smart consumers, smart economy. That is going to cost a fair chunk to roll out by each and every service provider.


Can they cap cell phone rates? High Tech devices, High Tech Networks, High Tech Workers . 

In my world, "TANSTAAFL" -R. Heinlein

There will be unintended consequences. The only question is how many will will suffer as a result. And who will survive. Anyone want to draw  the first rock?









Hello thePoodleFarmer,


@thePoodleFarmer wrote:..

Even the BYOD plans seem to include a cost allowance so the provider can offer the customer a phone upgrade at some future point. I haven't been a FIDO customer for a year and have already once been been offered a $0 phone...

  I'm not sure that is the case. I'm guessing you were offered the $0 upfront for a phone if you switched to a plan with subsidy (assuming you are currently on a BOYP plan).


  Personally, I do think the cost of phones is getting a little out of hand. Over a thousand dollars for a phone? Unfortunately, I don't think there's anything the goverment can do to curb the cost of devices. Sure, there's talk of reducing the cost of mobile services, but that won't affect the cost of devices. No government will be able to mandate what manufacturers charge for their products.


@thePoodleFarmer wrote:Get the new Apple 11 phone, they will eat US$700 of the price on a 2 year contract...

  I took a gander at Verizon the other day. I don't think they're 'eating' that amount. The offer is upto $500 USD on a trade-in of certain devices. The additional $200 is only for new port-ins from other providers.


Hope this helps 😀









I'm Experienced Level 1

I didn't know there was an Off Topic Forum. awesome 😍


I suppose saying they are out of hand is the wrong way to phrase it. Some people are happy with a Beetle, some people aren't happy without a Bentley. It's a personal choice, and I can't fault anyone for making theirs. It is a free world still. but with all the non-telephone features now, i wonder how long we will even be referring to our devices as phones. Someone is going to have to come up with better name. Any votes for InstaGramaPhones? 🤣


I thought I was offered a $0 phone for my BYOP plan, getting into a contract was never mentioned. it wasn't a fancy phone, and it was during a tech support conversation as I learned why my current phone can't or won't have a functioning My Account App. No Data-bytes for me until I get a another device. Or flash it back to stock. or stock and a stable Android 6.0 upgrade. Still thinking. A kinda-functional phone is better than a brick.


The Government can't curb the real cost of anything. But they will offer subsidies, tax credits, programs for the economically disadvantaged to make mobile plans "more affordable". Nothing to reduce the real cost of providing service, and nothing to ensure the quality of service is maintained or increased for all equally. And when you get through all the fine print it will be hard for anyone but the most disadvantaged to take advantage of whatever hey offer. but it will be a promise made, promise kept.

I think the US government tried offering free phones as part of Medicare or something. Inexpensive flip phones, low price voice/text only plans. So everyone could have a mobile phone. Pretty sure that ship sailed with the program cuts


Verizon - not much detail in a 30 second commercial spot during a football game. I just saw the headline, that is what they want viewers to see. People wanting an Apple 11 probably aren't schlepping around with an Android phone running (poorly) KitKat. And they are fighting to acquire customers, the extra $200 will get recovered quickly I am sure. If they are smart the prepaid Mastercard gets used to buy upgrades and extras! Can I interest you in .... an extra sale, the card never even gets in the mail. Cha-ching!

Devices are like cars now - you make a decision to buy until it dies, or trade up regularly to stay on the leading edge. He who hesitates has lost the value the phone has to the resale trade.