Two of this phone's competing models (iphone, google nexus) can be purchased unlocked from official channel.
Why won't nokia sell the phone unlocked for say, $400? They have a pretty good sale price for 2-year contract. Why not cater to prepaid users?
That depends on where in the world you are. It just came out in the UK, so it should be available unlocked very soon.
Here, in the US, we don't have a free market for cell phones. Carriers control everything, and unlocked devices are only for people who know how to get them. Off-contract devices can be purchased, but they're still SIM locked to the carrier doing the selling.
I no like branded phones and am remarkably annoyed that I can't get an unlocked, unbranded Lumia 800 in the US that's NOT bundled with accessories and costs $900.
21-05-2012 6:44 - edited 21-05-2012 6:46
Anselo, I disagree. Carriers try to control everything. If you do a search on Amazon.com, you can find lots of fully unlocked phones, with no contract, and some (Nokia N8 and Samsung Nexus) are "pentaband", meaning they'll work on any carrier's frequencies in the USA. T-Mobile is an inexpensive service provider, and has no problems with any of these phones (or even an iphone).
I found the N8 phones for a friend, at a little over $300 not too long ago. Last week I found the Nexus, but the best price I could find was direct from Google, for only $400 - and it has ZERO "bloatware" on it.
I expect that eventually the fully unlocked Nokia Windows phones will start showing up on Amazon - assuming there isn't an agreement with AT&T to not allow this. Hopefully it will be a "pentaband" version, that works on all the frequencies, including 3G, for all the GSM networks in the US.
While you may find many unlocked phones on Amazon, that doesn't mean they were officially released in the US. The N9, for example, is pentaband, but was not released in the states. It can be purchased with ease.
Nokia Windows Phones, OTOH, are not pentaband and 3G connectivity is limited to either 850MHz OR 900MHz. The HTC One S for TMO is the same issue. One version for the US and another for EU. This makes it difficult to get an unbranded, unlocked device to fully function here.
My complaint... is that neither Nokia nor HTC sell these devices direct, like they have done with others. That you can get an imported device on Amazon is just not the same. It's a circumvention of the meddling from our carriers, but not a solution.
I like what has recently happened in sKorea. Buy a phone, pick a carrier. Here it's "want a different phone, change carriers, too." If I'm on TMO and I really want the One X, I have to switch to AT&T or import it and lose a 3G band. Oh, wait, can't import those any more due to patent issues. Conversely, if I'm on AT&T and want the One S, I have to switch to TMO or import one missing a crucial 3G band. These are not acceptable alternatives in a "free" market.
Just a word of caution.
There is a difference between unlocked and unbranded. In many area's in the world that is the same, but not in the US.
You can buy unsubsidised phone on Amazon or through RadioShack etc but in many cases these are not unbranded. So you buy a full price (and sometimes even unlocked) one but you often still have all or many of the MO modifications.
24-05-2012 0:26 - edited 24-05-2012 0:27
ArminG wrote:There is a difference between unlocked and unbranded. In many area's in the world that is the same, but not in the US.
Actually unlocked is the correct term..."Manufacture Unlocked" that is. Don't know when people started calling it unbranded but point will made. There is a difference from "Manufacture Unlocked" (unbranded) compared to "Carrier Unlocked"
With that said, there is no reason why Nokia can't start selling devices directly to customers outside of the Carrier deals they make for subsidized handsets. Google sells them in North America, Apple sells them in North America depsite the Carrier deals
North America uses GSM, just different bands. They also use CDMA as well while it's a better technology, it's not as popular.
North America uses GSM 850/1900 bands
UK (most places in Europe) uses 900/1800 bands
Thus why they sometimes refer to GSM world phones as Quad band phones since they will work world wide. The Lumia 900 European version won't give you LTE in North America but as long as it supports the 850/1900 bands, it would work fine. Minus MMS that is until Nokia makes the Network Setup app available in North America...
24-05-2012 23:27 - edited 24-05-2012 23:28
There are actually more CDMA users in the US, than GSM users. So CDMA is actually pretty popular.
Also be carefull, when you talk about Quad-Band. We have GSM/2G and we have 3G/UMTS. People often make the mistake thinking 3G is only data, but it is not. There are 4 GSM/2G bands in the world and 5 different 3G bands in use in the world. For 3G the European/UK band is different than the three bands used in the US (two by AT&T, one by T Mobile USA).
Most Windows Phones come with only two of the 3G bands, but with all 4 of the GSM bands. So if you buy a European model you will often not have all US bands. Your phone will work fine in GSM/2G, but may miss things like the fater data speed from 3G, miss the parallel voice/data from 3G, better voice quality from advanced 3G phones (HD Voice).
I understood that Nokia on their Lumia 710/800 actually shipped with 4 of the 5 3G bands, so in many cases you should then be good. But I don't know about the Lumia 900.
And regardless of that the US model ships with LTE, while the European doesn't.
There is a pentaband unlocked unbranded phone called the Nokia N9 which works wonderfully in the U.S. for 2G/3G but you can only buy it online as Nokia will not sell it officially in the U.S.
I have purchased from a 3rd party vendor an unlocked roger's lumia 900 - the only 2 issues I have had are not being able to send MMS and not being able to tether or use the phone as a wireless hot spot. While the MMS messaging is mute with so many apps that will do this for you it is a little frustrating not tethering well I'm hoping nokia will upgrade the firmware to allow unlocked phones to do this.
On the brighter side I have used the phone in USA and UK as well and have had 3g and 4g data (hspa+) - I used AT&T in USA and 3 in the UK and Fido in Canada -
I have used AT&T for several years but they just cut out data bundles on pay as you go so I will be switching to TMobile in the future --