Why do Google needs the carriers?


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  1. vibrunazo

    vibrunazo New Member This Topic's Starter

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    I keep reading articles about how carriers are screwing up android and how much Google depends on them. But I don't understand how this works.

    As far as my limited knowledge goes. The phone hardware and software are independent from any carrier. You can just buy an unlocked phone and just put any SIM card from any carrier you wish in it.

    When I bought my Motorola milestone, I got it unlocked from a carrier store I don't use. Only because it was cheaper there. Bought it with a cheap pre-paid card, which I just cancelled. Then I put my old SIM card from another carrier on my phone which I'm using today.

    So I don't understand what's going on. I suppose I'm missing something? Why do google have to bend over to carriers to do their willing? Why do I keep hearing people complaining about carriers like Verizon bloating up phones with crap apps? Can't manufactures (samsung, htc, motorola) just sell the phone unlocked independently from any carriers and then users just put whoever's sim card on it?
     

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  2. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

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    They can, but they need the subsidies from the carriers. I bought my DInc for $200 from VZW. If I bought it unlocked, I'd have paid $600. I'm not going to pay $600 for a phone. I don't have that kind of $$$ to drop on a phone. Google needs the carriers because they subsidize the phones and make them affordable for everyone.
     
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  3. dan330

    dan330 Well-Known Member

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    carrier subsidies are a huge benefit for new expensive phones.

    there are other things too...

    warranty.. through carrier is faster and simpler in general! with broken bad phones.

    also help with features working on your phone... is easier calling the carrier. Call the manufacture and tell them your email is taking to long to reach your phone.

    not all phone carriers use SIM cards!

    everyone wants simple and easy. you might want to buy in one place and cancel.. then go to other to use. Most want the knowledge and easy of going to one and get it all done fast.. and save some cost.
     
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  4. Demache

    Demache Well-Known Member

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    CDMA companies (Sprint, Alltel and Verizon mostly, and a few regional carriers in the United States) do not use SIM cards. So its not as straightforward.
     
  5. nitsuj17

    nitsuj17 Well-Known Member

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    in some of the recent interviews Andy Rubin has mentioned that the idea of a google phone isnt dead they just have to examine how it would work through carriers and such or how it would be sold as the online model wasnt a huge success for them I guess.

    Ideally for me would be google release 1 or 2 phones maybe every 6 months like the n1 sold through carriers (for the subsidy) but supported directly from google. Like you pay your 199.99 and have your plan through verizon/sprint/etc but the phone is supported with updates from google and no bloatware. Warranties are not through the carrier either but through google.

    I realize thats a pipedream but still, I'd like to see it.
     
  6. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

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    The other part of it is that Google doesn't really want to get into the hardware side and doesn't want to have to provide a lot of tech support. They save tons of money this way. Software has high profit margins. Licensing has high profit margins.
     
  7. daddyd302

    daddyd302 Well-Known Member

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    You do realize Google did that and failed miserably? Just go ahead and google up all the problems they had. At least Google was smart enough to realize how bad they failed and cut their loses. When people buy a phone from a carrier, they expect that carrier to fix it under warranty in a few days, not send it in to google and wait a few weeks.
     
  8. ElasticNinja

    ElasticNinja Well-Known Member

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    Google needs to get as many Androids out there as possible
    Cheaper better value phones = more sales = more Android users
    Carrier subsidies = Cheaper better value phones

    So the more carriers like Google and Android, the more Androids are sold, meaning more revenue for Google.
     
  9. nitsuj17

    nitsuj17 Well-Known Member

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    yes i realize the online nexus model failed i was just saying rubin mentioned they would examine it and didnt shut the door on something in the future. and i said the warranty and ohone stuff was my ideal scenario not one i envisioned happening
     
  10. MdX MaxX

    MdX MaxX Active Member

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    Google doesn't rely on on carriers, the handset manufacturers (HTC, Samsung, Moto, etc.) do. Google offers Android for free; they don't even make money off of it. Google makes money from the increased ad revenue brought about by mobile users. Carriers load up their phones with bloatware because they want to promote their services on their most popular phones.
     
  11. takeshi

    takeshi Well-Known Member

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    It's not just the carrriers, it the handset makers, depending on who you talk to. Though, despite the complaints, it has always been Google's intent to have the OEM's take Android and modify as desired to create their own wireless devices.

    Carriers are involved in the QA process. Smartphones aren't islands. They have to be able to operate on the carriers' networks. As stated above, swapping SIM's isn't relevant to CDMA-only devices. Further, even with GSM devices the bands that a particular device operates on matter so you can't use just any GSM device with any carrier (especially not if you're expecting 3G or better).

    You might want to read up on subsidies and the US wireless market. They certainly could but no one does.

    In any case, it's only the enthusiasts that are griping and despite how it seems from reading the various Android forum sites, enthusiasts only make up a tiny fraction of the market. You'd need to campaign to get the average consumer motivated and concerned about this sort of thing. Good luck with that!

    ^ This. I'm not sure why people always seem to forget what Google's core business is. Android isn't free of charge just because Google is nice and decided to become a B2B charity. It makes business sense for them to have such a foothold in the market.
     
  12. clutchy

    clutchy Well-Known Member

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    they tried with the Nexus one, but i think the issue is that people want to touch a phone and most people haven't gotten around the idea that smartphones cost $600.

    I totally bought into it and i'm glad i did. I still have my nexus one and have no intention of selling it.


    the side effect is that carriers got to lock people down for 2 years which is huge. The issue that consumers don't understand is that it stymies competition. Carriers don't even compete on the product they sell(cell and data service) They compete on who can lock down the most customers and for how long. They lock people down based on a product that isn't their main business (phones).

    it's a crappy ridiculous cycle and if more people understood that we wouldn't be paying out the ace for cell service. It really is an absurdity.

    A fixed market for competition really isn't a market for competition at all.

    think about it.
     
  13. Bitbang3r

    Bitbang3r Well-Known Member

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    The biggest problem with the Nexus One was the fact that they launched it in America instead of Britain and the rest of Europe, so they were overwhelmed by negative press fueled by newbies who'd never bought an unlocked phone before. Had they released it in Britain & the rest of Europe a week earlier than their US release, they would have had a week of "my phone works flawlessly and rocks!" to provide credibility against "omg, my phone has no 3G (nor any other T-mo phone in that neighborhood) and sux0rs."

    The decision to sell it ONLY online was a huge mistake, too. Google should have partnered with Best Buy or Radio Shack to have REAL PHONES in the store customers could play with and walk out with. It would have put the N1 at a huge competitive advantage over everything else, because it would have been the only working phone for sale in the entire store.

    The fact that the first N1 only worked on the least-developed 3G network in America didn't help matters. The fact that they insisted on proclaiming that the warranty was voided by rooting the phone (in complete violation of Magnuson-Moss), instead of a firm, "If you return your phone for a warranty repair, we're not even going to touch it until you agree to let us wipe it and reflash it to stock, and we won't put it back when we're done." just made things even worse.

    Compounding matters, neither T-Mobile nor Google made the slightest effort to let people know that you can sign a contract without buying a subsidized phone and get a $20/month discount in return. From what I remember, you almost had to get into a fight with some T-Mobile employees to get them to go to their own website and read the fine print saying it actually existed (to say that T-Mobile didn't encourage the sale of those "bring your own phone" plans would be putting it mildly).

    In any case, T-Mobile made matters a lot worse than they had to be. When customers showed up at a store with a N1 claiming something didn't work, the first thing they should have done was put the customer's SIM into a store phone and verified that it DID, in fact, work in THAT phone. They would have identified the 1% with genuine problems, and sent home the other 99% at least semi-humbled knowing that it really, truly wasn't a T-Mobile provisioning problem. Instead, they just told everyone to "tell it to the hand and blame HTC/Google", and pissed EVERYONE off for no good reason.

    The truth is, T-Mobile is to blame more than anyone. At the end of the day, Google sold users a phone made by HTC, but they were T-Mobile's customers, and were going to remain that way for at least the next two years unless T-Mobile completely dropped the ball (which, sadly, they often did). If customers showed up complaining about a problem, it was T-Mobile's job to demonstrate to those customers that the problem was with their phone, and not with T-Mobile's network. Thanks to SIM cards, it's quick and easy to do. The fact that they rarely did it reflects poorly on T-Mobile more than anyone.

    Let's not forget the fact that for a couple of months, the Nexus One was the Android phone to die for, and the biggest competitive advantage T-Mobile (US) had over EVERYONE... and they botched it completely. For a few months, they were the only network in America where you could use the best Android phone available -- a phone users WERE willing to switch networks to use -- and they decided to get bitchy about the fact that it was sold by Google instead of being thankful it was bringing them so many new customers.
     

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