At a press event today, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said his company would be willing to drop contracts if customers demanded it. This, of course, is a response to T-Mobile becoming the “Uncarrier” by not requiring a contract for people that pay full price for phones up front.
Verizon Wireless already does this, but there is no benefit to do so. Wireless companies lock you into a contract when you buy a new phone because you are getting the phone super cheap through a subsidy. Most smartphones cost $600, but when you sign a contract, you buy it for less up front and pay a higher monthly plan every month. The problem is, if you buy the phone outright, you’ll still pay the same higher cost monthly plan as the person who got it cheaper. The same thing applies after your contract is over: your monthly plan doesn’t get cheaper.
I don’t understand why McAdam thinks customers don’t want this. We’ve been complaining about lack of non-contractual options, high-cost plans and the carriers getting rid of unlimited data forever. If we weren’t complaining, T-Mobile wouldn’t have gone the way they did!