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Question re: T-Mobile's phones in US

Discussion in 'T-Mobile Forum' started by Gaf318, Oct 19, 2006.

  1. Gaf318

    Gaf318 New Member

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    Hi Everyone, I was just wondering why the European have many more choices in phones offer through TMO? I just looked at the UK's and Germany's web sites and was amazed at how many phones they offer. I do realize the parent owners of TMO is a German company. Does T-Mobile have a larger segment of business in the European countries than what they have in the good Ole USA? Thanks for your replies Greg
     
  2. nKrypteD1

    nKrypteD1 Software Architect
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    The german version of the FCC is different on what it will allow, plus the phones are trimode which is generally developed before quadmode (from what I understand) there are also different manufacturers that generally don't do well here in the states (case in point Benq-Siemens.) I'm sure there are other reasons, but if you look at myworldphone.com as an example, there are a ton more phones than what Cingular/T-Mobile make available here. I would say a large part to this has to do with Asia and Europe having larger markets as well. Considering there are more subscribers on a single provider in China than all of the US Subscribers put together I think you can see this arguement.
     
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  3. chuikov

    chuikov Senior Member
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    Deutsche Telekom is a heavy-weight in Europe and in other parts of the world. They bought a second tier network (Voicestream/Omnipoint) to get into the US market and have been investing in it substantially over the past several years.
     
  4. Matt

    Matt Twin girls!
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    T-Mobile USA currently has 19 phones on their website, not counting SK, BB, MDA, SDA, etc. That's more than they ever have had. A few years ago they only sold about 10!

    TM Germany is the market share leader, IIRC. TM USA only has about a 10% share.
     
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  5. scotsboyuk

    scotsboyuk Senior Member
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    As someone mentioned there are a number of reasons for this. I shall try to cover them as succiently as possible.

    Frequency - The frequency differencies between the U.S. and Europe effectively serve to limit what can be sold there in terms of European ahndsets. Handsets sold in the U.S. eithe rhave to be quadband or made specifically for the U.S. This doesn't affect T-Mobile too mcuh since they aren't as reliant on the 850 MHz band as Cingular as far as I am aware.

    Market Size - The U.S. has a population of approximately 300 million. Europe, as a whole, has a population of more than 700 million. Futhermore, the U.S. mobile market is not unified, rather it is split between competing standards, which effectively serves to reduce the potential market for GSM handsets (and CDMA handsets). Europe has a largely unified mobile market, with the vast majority of networks (if not all) using the same technologies. These factors serve to make it more attractive to release more handsets in Europe.

    Culture - Different markets have different idiosyncrasies. What may be popular in one market may not be popular in another. For instance, clamshell handsets seme to be very popular in the U.S. Whilst they are popular in Europe, candybar mobiles are either equally as popular if not more so. This may affect what types of handsets are sold in each market. If you look at Japan the majority of their mobiles seme to be clamshells.

    Services - The U.S. may not have as many of the services that are available in Europe. Hence it would be risky, if not pointless, to release handsets that supported such services. For instance, whilst T-Mobile UK is selling handsets that support video calling, T-Mobile wouldn't have much use for such handsets since they don't offer video calling yet.

    Pricing - From what I have seen on forums like this one, Americans appear to have to pay what we in Europe would consider a lot of money for handsets. For instance, I have just been to the T-Mobile USA website and selected a RAZR on a tariff that costs $59.99/month. The RAZR would cost me $69.99. This is $69.99 more than I would pay here in Britain.

    Comapre this with the T-Mobile UK website. I can get a RAZR with a tariff that costs £20/month (approx. $37.55/month). The RAZR is free. Now the two tariffs aren't the same, but the point is that for a smaller monthly outgoing the handset is free.

    What this means is that if one is paying for a relatively old and low speced handset in the U.S., a newer and more high-end handset is likely to cost more. Here most handsets are free with a contract. Hence the newtorks can offer more handsets knowing that customers are not necessarily going to be put off by an upfront price.

    Manufacturer Nationality - Companies tend to release their products in their home markets first. European manufacturers seem to follow that trend.

    Low Penetration Rate - The last time I checked the U.S. had a mobile penetration rate of around 65%. By comparison the UK has a penetration rate of around 113%. Since the networks have already signed up just about everyone they can here they need to find new incentives to offer to both poach customers from their rivals and to keep their existing customers. A wide range of ever newer handsets are one means to do that.
     
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  6. Jay2TheRescue

    Jay2TheRescue Resident Spamslayer
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    Oh so much... I'll keep this short as I really want to get to bed right now... I agree with 98% of what you say here. First of all, there are pleanty of free handsets available to US customers. The reason that the V3 is so high priced, is simply that we Americans are willing to pay that high price for a V3. I just checked on Cingular's website and there are 4 free phones, 2 @ $9.99, 1 @ $19.99, and 3 @ $29.99 for a total of 10 phones that I would consider "value priced". These are not super cool phones though, with the exception of the Motorola L2, which I think is a fantastic phone for free. I bought my mother one a few weeks ago. Anyway, the carriers know we Americans will pay dearly for phones with cool looks and/or features, and we are charged accordingly.

    -Jay

    PS - to look at the selection of Cingular phones I am looking at click here : http://onlinestorez.cingular.com/ce..._sortOrder=Price&RFlow=A&WT.svl=pbt&zip=20164 If it dumps you to a screen asking for your ZIP code, enter 20164.
     
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  7. scotsboyuk

    scotsboyuk Senior Member
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    I'm not saying there aren't free handsets available in the U.S., just that there does seem to be a greater propensity to charge in some circumstances.

    This doesn't necessarily conflict with the point I was making. I'm not sure of the reason for certain handsets being priced at certain levels in the U.S., what you say may be true, but I don't know enough about the situation to offer an indepth answer. However, I think my point is still valid here. If a RAZR, which is a fairly old and low-end handset, in terms of specifications, can cost almost $70, one can only imagine what something like a D900 or a K800 or a P990 would cost.

    What happens here is that the initial cost of a handset is taken away from the customer. That cost is likely spread out over the life of the contract. I suppose one could look at it this way; the U.S. probably has cheaper tariffs than many European countries, but handsets are cheaper in Europe. The overall cost to the consumer is probably similar, it's just that their money is spent in different areas.

    The upshot of all this is that otherwise expensive handsets are often free in Europe, which means that the networks don't necessarily have to worry about a handset that would cost several hundred pounds not selling well. What they have to sell are higher priced contracts and extras to go along with them. That's how they will recoup their money in the long run.
     
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  8. nKrypteD1

    nKrypteD1 Software Architect
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    Well, take the Cingular 8125/T-mobile MDA for example, after rebates the phone (new not refurbished) currently is 300 dollars, while subsidies exist ($100's per activation) this phone is immnesely expensive. But what I don't understand is that Cingular is charging me 39.99 per month for PDA Unlimited access, smart phone access is 29.99 and regular MediaNet is 19.99 for unlimited. I wouldn't say my media net amounts have increased greatly since I went from my S/E w600i because at the time I used it as a modem constantly (and no I never got hit with PC Connect) as far as I know the cost for Cingular really is close to the same as far as useage on non 3g handsets so I can only imagine that the higher connection charge is just simply a way of recouping money and taxing the business class more.
     
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  9. MOTOhooligan

    MOTOhooligan Former Mobile Data Addict
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    With a device that expensive, why not just pay full retail (non-contract) price for it? I got a Samsung SGH-e315 for $20 with a $20 mail-in rebate when I activated with T-Mobile on a 12 month contract. Now they want 24 month contracts for the best equipment pricing, just like everyone else. I renewed once after my initial activation to get the 1,000 anytime minute UNL OP/WE/MTM Family Time plan and I won't renew with T-Mobile again. My plan is good and if I ever need a new phone, I'll do what I've been doing and buy one outright.

    I have seen RAZRs for free occasionally but usually only as a special, with lots of mail-in rebates or from an online agent. Motorola has sold so many RAZRs and it's been out so long that it should be free at this point, but whatever.
     
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  10. Jay2TheRescue

    Jay2TheRescue Resident Spamslayer
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    it should be free, but like I said, we are willing to pay for it, so we are charged.

    -jay
     
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  11. scotsboyuk

    scotsboyuk Senior Member
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    I suppose this ties in with the cultural aspect I mentioned. If Americans are willing to pay for handsets then I imagine the networks probably won't miss that opportunity to charge. Here, by comparison, people are probably so used to free handsets that a network/manufacturer would risk losing business by charging for it on anything but the lowest tariffs. Having said that, we probably pay more on our bills so, as I said, the net expenditure is probably broadly similar.

    Actually there's a thought. Can one of you American chaps tally up what your handset and bills come to in a year and I'll do the same. It would be interesting to compare and see if they are similar overall.
     
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  12. nKrypteD1

    nKrypteD1 Software Architect
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    Yeah not a problem, I paid 349 for my 8125, my monthly bill is 39.99 for 450 minutes, 39.99 for unlimited connect, 19.99 for 3000 Messages (TXT IM MMS) and .99 for Answertones, the rest is government regulatory and taxes. do the math 100.97 a month x 12, 1,212 a year. Keep in mind I'm locked in at 24 months.
     
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  13. scotsboyuk

    scotsboyuk Senior Member
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    My latest handset is a SE W850, which was free with the contract I took. The contract itself costs £45/month and gives 600 minutes, 400 text messages, 50 picture/video messages, 50 minutes of video calls and £5 worth of downloads each month. I also got a free car charger. For the first six months the line rental is halved to £22.50 and the minutes and texts are doubled.

    The total cost for the 18 months is £675 (not including calls obviously). That's around $1270.89. The cost for the first year would be £405 (approx $762.53). However, a twelve month version of this contract is different because the line rental is half price for the first three months, and without the double minutes and texts. The yearly cost for that tariff would be £472.50 (approx $889.62).
     
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  14. Jay2TheRescue

    Jay2TheRescue Resident Spamslayer
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    Well, I'm on a familyTalk 550 plan. For $49.99/mo I get 550 anytime mins, Unlimited M2M, & Unlimited N&W. $9.99 for the second line for my Mom, $19.99 for "Media Max 200" which includes 200 messages (text, video, multimedia, or IM), unlimited Cingular Video, and unlimited internet. All added up that totals $79.97/mo + taxes. I just added my Mom a few weeks ago, so I haven't gotten my first bill on the plan yet, but I estimate the bill will be about $85/mo after taxes. I had taken a new phone on "upgrade" last spring, I purchased a Motorola V3 for $69.99 on a 2 yr agreement. My mom chose a Motorola L2 as a "free" phone. So here is my breakdown for the 2 year contract:

    $69.99 equipment costs
    + $16.00 "upgrade fee" charged when I got my new phone this spring.
    + ($85 x 24 months = $2,040)
    = $2,125.99 Total Cost for 2 years.

    Now, Cingular had just changed how they offer upgrades to their customers. The new formula is based on how profitable the customer is, and giving the more profitable customers better deals. It is my hope that by the time I want to upgrade again that I will be able to get a premium phone for free, or almost free.

    -Jay
     
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  15. clock3687

    clock3687 Cell Signal?????? Use it!
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    Im on a T-Mobile family plan w/ 2000 minutes for $99.99/mo, + an extra $9.99 for 1 line. unlimited SMS, Pics, video for $19.99/mo. & $5.99/mo for t-zones/data. It was $99 for my phone at the time w/ no activation fee. Im in a 24-month contract, so it adds up too...
    $110.00 + $20+ $6= $136+tax

    136 x 24 months = $3264

    $3264 + $99 (for equipment) leaves me with $3364

    it adds up! :browani:
     
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