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Phones come and go faster than they ever have before. It seems almost as if a new phone is launched every couple days in today's market. The DROID RAZR MAXX launched just three days ago, so a new phone should be due in the next few hours and its successor is probably only a few weeks ahead.

Okay, maybe it's not that bad. But I'm only just exaggerating. Phone launch schedules have gotten out of hand as of late, and carriers and OEMs alike have created a nasty case of cannibalism amongst their own devices in the mobile world. That's why manufacturers like HTC have set sights on fewer devices in 2012, placing quality over quantity ... finally. This is both good and bad, depending on how you look at it.

There are some obvious benefits, like higher quality devices (obviously) and less of a chance that your phone is outdated by the time you get your hands on it. If nothing else, you can feel comfortable with your phone for at least a few extra months without feeling like your phone is last year's tech. That is, if more manufacturers than HTC hop on the quality bandwagon.

However, there are likely going to be some problems caused by fewer phones being made, especially for sites like ours who review new phones. There will be fewer new devices to choose from when it's time for an upgrade and there is a larger chance that no single device meets all of your wants and needs.

But the bigger issue here is a problem that already exists and may only get worse: exclusivities.

Currently, mobile manufacturers generally create two flagships per year. Sometimes, they will launch it on more than one carrier – possibly under a different moniker and with slightly different specifications. For instance, Samsung has released the Galaxy S II in a special variant on all major carriers in the US except for Verizon. On AT&T, it comes in two variations: the Galaxy S II and Galaxy S II Skyrocket. (Eventually, the Galaxy S II Skyrocket HD will launch.) It launched on Sprint as the Galaxy S II, Epic 4G Touch, and it made its way to T-Mobile simply as the Galaxy S II. Every variant has slightly different specifications, but is of the same family of devices. HTC also launched multiple similar phones on all four major carriers, the Vivid on AT&T, Amaze 4G on T-Mobile, EVO 3D on Sprint and Rezound on Verizon.

Every now and then, however, they will launch a flagship and only bring it to one carrier. An exclusive. A perfect example of this is the iPhone, which was exclusive to AT&T for over three years. A more recent example is the Galaxy Note, which has garnered a lot of attention and hype as of late. Over the next month or two, it will launch on AT&T as an exclusive, leaving those on Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon who want a 5.3-inch Samsung phone out of luck.

My question is: what do you do when the phone you want doesn't launch on your carrier?

When I worked at Best Buy Mobile, it was as if every week a family would come in, pay a termination fee with their then-current carrier and switch to AT&T for the iPhone (then an iPhone 4). The same thing happened when the EVO 4G launched on Sprint and there weren't any comparable Android phones for other wireless providers on the horizon.

Since T-Mobile is the only major US carrier without the iPhone on its shelves, over one million people have purchased Apple's popular phone, unlocked it and now use it on T-Mobile. The bad part is that these people have been stuck using one of the most popular phones in the world on EDGE (or 2G) speeds. That may change in the future, but the sacrifice many people go through just to have the iPhone on T-Mobile is mind-blowing.

For someone like me, who has multiple phones and is on an individual plans, carrier hopping and carrying the device you want isn't usually too bad or expensive. But it's amazing to see how much trouble and how much money a person – or family – is willing to spend to get the phones they want.

Generally, when the phone I want doesn't appear to be coming to the carrier I'm currently using, I will try to find it no-contract and open service on the carrier it is compatible with. In the case of the Galaxy Nexus, which is only officially sold for Verizon in the US, I bought the unlocked version and popped my T-Mobile SIM card in it. If the Galaxy Note has (though unlikely, we're still not 100 percent sure) T-Mobile 3G (or even 4G) bands, I will buy it and use it on T-Mobile. If not, I've considered buying it no-contract and switching to AT&T (partially due to some issues I've been having with T-Mobile in the area I just moved to).

I'm curious, people. How much trouble and how much are you willing to spend to get the phone you want? Do you consider switching carriers? Will you use a phone on 2G (or a 4G phone on 3G), just to have it on a different carrier?


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Comments & discussions  

123 Reactions to this post

"What do you do when the phone you want doesn't launch on your carrier?"


Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
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Konner Shea
Konner Shea I HAVE A BONER.
Kirk Ngo
Kirk Ngo Deal with it. :(
Anonymous
Anonymous no one cares about the iPhone mitch
Chris Taylor
Chris Taylor Jump ship, immediatley
Mitch Lopez
Mitch Lopez I don't have that problem. The iPhone is on all the major carriers except T-Mob.
Trevon Jordan Berry
Trevon Jordan Berry i cry!
Orlando Soto
Orlando Soto Nothing cause a better one will be out in 2 weeks jaja
Anonymous
Anonymous I continue having a life.
Kevin Joel
Kevin Joel Listen to the song "its alright, take it easy"
Frank Zambrano
Frank Zambrano Get a vertu and brag about diamonds on it
Arthur Mmayie
Arthur Mmayie Buy it a very low price and use it as a media and gaming device with my Clearwire portable router.
Jeff Abbott
Jeff Abbott Nothing really, all the good phones come to at&t.
Kyle Cordiano
Kyle Cordiano Buy the unlocked version.
William Smith
William Smith I wish I could unlock a phone on for Verizon but just have to wait for a good phone love my service!
Ediben Yoonan
Ediben Yoonan wait
Eugene Yap
Eugene Yap If don't launch, just say, hey why made such good phone but don't launch it what a waste
Ben Conover
Ben Conover All the carriers have their own awesome phones. If you can't get the phone you want, settle for something with similar specs.
Hector Sedeño
Hector Sedeño Get pissed. I'm on Sprint so I can't buy unlocked phones.
Eriq Blaque
Eriq Blaque Cry?
Hansel Starley
Hansel Starley I curse and I curse.
Austin Montiel Hernandez
Austin Montiel Hernandez If it doesn't launch on my carrier I just sit in a corner and weep all day. Then I wait for the next big phone to come out.
Kenny Kenwad Holder
Kenny Kenwad Holder Well there are so many androids out there I almost don't care. Only phones I want are galaxy nexus, that new Sony phone and the glorious lumia 900. I want the lumia so bad, but its not worth giving up unlimited data. Oh well time to overclock my nexus s to 1.5ghz to keep up.
Cameron Walton
Cameron Walton I just buy a cheap (mid-range) smart phone with stellar battery life and wait for these manufacturers and carriers to get there stuff together.
Erman Guido
Erman Guido Look for another fone
JoHn Felix
JoHn Felix Either flash it or unlock it or wait til a similar phone hits that carrier
Sylbert Joseph
Sylbert Joseph With the way phones are churned out these days (seems like its monthly at this rate) I just wait until my specific carrier gets it, or just wait till they put out something equivalent. It doesn't make sense to jump ship when you'll probably have something just like it.
BossMan Atl
BossMan Atl Well I'm in that situation now. I REALLY want the Galaxy Note but I also have T-Mobile. I could get an unlocked one but it would stay on the edge network. Sooo AT&T Here I come. P.S, I will NEVER sign a contracct with AT&T because they are still full of it, but on the flip side..... GALAXY NOTE HERE I COME
Amrit Dhillon
Amrit Dhillon Stay on the same carrier. Get a higly wanted phone. Sell it. And buy the phone you want.
Mark Belkowski
Mark Belkowski Nothing. Who can afford the eft's?
Jordan Lai
Jordan Lai post a frowny face on their wall D:<
Jade Ficca
Jade Ficca I look for an unlocked UK version and check if they have 1700 2100 for tmobile
Don Kenyon
Don Kenyon EDSN swap? Or something else just as illegal.
Howie Eastin
Howie Eastin I find more ways to appreciate what I already have :)
Daniel Cuadrado
Daniel Cuadrado Get an iPhone!
Michael Singer
Michael Singer Wait for it to come to all carriers... I won't buy it if its not a nexus/pure Google experience phone
Adrian Anguiano
Adrian Anguiano Um...who cares? If its not on your carrier oh well get on with your life, it's a phone lol.
Don FatMan Parker Sr.
Don FatMan Parker Sr. Kill everybody at me job... I'm joking..I just cry myself to sleep..lol
Eric Quach
Eric Quach Unlocked phones ftw.
Dillon Brantner
Dillon Brantner Switch carriers
Jen N Mick Ciresi
Jen N Mick Ciresi My husband decides to switch carriers, all while acquiring an early termination fee!!
Eduardo Ordaz
Eduardo Ordaz wait for another phone better then the phone in a different carrier.
Flako Ramirez
Flako Ramirez Get pissed and give them a couple of months to see if they bring anything good to the table before making a jump to the phone i want
Ken Sogamoso
Ken Sogamoso cry
Jason Stroman
Jason Stroman Bitch and moan
Yezz Lopez
Yezz Lopez If it's a GSM phone I just buy and unlock it. Since I don't want to give up my $5web2go plan, I have to buy unlocked smartphones that T-Mobile doesn't carry.
Bunny Contreras
Bunny Contreras i make placards and go on a rally in front of their ofc lol
TB Ogungbadero
TB Ogungbadero Easy. I cry.
Cesario Brito Jr.
Cesario Brito Jr. I'm not leaving my carrier for no phone. I have unlimited. Besides, Sprint gets the Galaxy phones. So I have no problem.
Devin Ray Hernandez
Devin Ray Hernandez CRY ALLOT !!!!!
Shawn Poling
Shawn Poling I wait for when the time is right. Lol
Jeff Baker
Jeff Baker Just gotta know where to get the the right hardware and how to use a soldering iron to make any phone work on your Carrier. :P
Carlos Quinones
Carlos Quinones Wait. Wait for whatever variant of the device drops on your carrier. Or, could wait for something better, which is always right around the corner anyways
Carlos Nava
Carlos Nava GALAXY S3 OFFICIAL! 5.0 inch 1080p super amoled Plus 12 Megapixel Camera with 1080p video/5 Mega pixel HD front cam 2.0 Gigahertz Dual core Exynos 2 Gigs of ram,4G LTE,Android 2.5, 3000 Mil Battery,FaceLock/Eyelock Android T.V (2012)
Brian Edson
Brian Edson wait for the same manufacturer to make a clone- i.e. lg nitro/spectrum, motorola atrix 2/ droid x 2, etc.
David Hilgendorf
David Hilgendorf Suck it up cause that's how the mobile world is in this day of age. If you kept waiting for the next big thing you could end up waiting your whole life. Get one of the greatest and be happy for two years
Kris K. Blomgren
Kris K. Blomgren Canceled sprint and got the galaxy nexus on a better carrier.
Gary Brown
Gary Brown move over to that carrier .
Tim Killian
Tim Killian Get over it.
Andry Thérèse
Andry Thérèse Like the one that I want: the HTC Wildfire S. It's so frustrating. So, I wait and see what happens next. But, until now, my carrier still doesn't offers it. So frustrating !!!
Jacob Burrell
Jacob Burrell wait 2 days for another one to come out :l
Jared Rodriguez
Jared Rodriguez I wait for a better one to show up on my carrier.
Silver Ochoa
Silver Ochoa When does the White 9900 come out?
Dounutz Sesar
Dounutz Sesar Il go on a rampage n the to a corner in my house n cry
Chris J
Chris J Buy unlocked from best buy and use it on simple mobile which is just as good and sometimes better than the major carriers. Sticking with the nexus products. My nexus S is great.
Al Cahawl
Al Cahawl I just say fuck it. Lol
Xavier Santino Renteria
Xavier Santino Renteria Bitch about it. And then forget about it because another phone I would want ends up coming out. :P
Ivan Pineiro
Ivan Pineiro Stick my foot up my nose.
Maxi Fabián
Maxi Fabián Still with the International Samsung Galaxy S2 GT-I9100, very happy with it, won't change it for a year if it lasts of course.. :P
Brandon Le
Brandon Le Nothing or else risk sacrificing my unlimited data plan. :/
Anthony Ochoa
Anthony Ochoa I fuk a girl.!
Juan Valladares
Juan Valladares Buy unlocked of course. A drawer full of phones is in agreement
Monsta Kody
Monsta Kody Switch
Haithem Obeidi
Haithem Obeidi I cry, RIP Galaxy Nexus
Zakari Ghachi
Zakari Ghachi Kill my self
Joe Czo
Joe Czo I think about switching but I have unlimited data from Verizon so I can't let that go!
Dawn Carman Murphy
Dawn Carman Murphy One time I switched carriers. I was with T-Mobile & was using a g1 when the g2 came out. I wasn't impressed with the g2. I tried to love it but just didn't. I switched to Sprint and got the Epic which also didn't thrill me do I got the Evo which I loved but hate that it didn't have a keyboard. Ended up finding a friend that had an Evo shift but didn't like that it wasn't even close to what an Evo was. Not even sure why they even put the name Evo on the shift. They look and are NOTHING alike. I found an awesome app that helps me with the on-screen keyboard(thumb keyboard). I have a friend that told me about boost mobile and how great and cheap it is. I now have an Evo 3d that is rooted and flashed. So to answer your question, I buy the phone off somebody on Craigslist then have my friend root and flash it.
Peter Combs
Peter Combs just buy it and unlock it n go from there
Jamal Simpson
Jamal Simpson get even!!
Nick Petrizzio
Nick Petrizzio go to canada and buy it
Daniel Quintero
Daniel Quintero Get something else lol
Coyvan Greer
Coyvan Greer What about tablets? U want the Galaxy tab 7.7 but its on Verizon!!!! I'm on ATT and its the perfect size, but no nasty Verizon has it. I think they should do like the GS2 its on Sprint ATT and tmobile
Alex Robledo
Alex Robledo Go into depression for a few days.
Yan Zhenghao
Yan Zhenghao Buy the unlocked Lumia
Justin John Litz Van
Justin John Litz Van Nothing lol. It's just a phone.
Ricardo Scott
Ricardo Scott Get mad as hell and cancel
Kenny Cabral
Kenny Cabral I buy the GSM version if there is one. If not, I cry and be sad.
Chris Burns
Chris Burns Kick rocks
Marti Ruiz
Marti Ruiz i say is . fucking __________
Rocky P. W. Watts
Rocky P. W. Watts Get the phone on another carrier. I'm not scared to break a contract. I just channel my inner PhoneWhore and get to buying
Brandon Folch
Brandon Folch Cry my-self to sleep
Quwmae Bashoen Johnson
Quwmae Bashoen Johnson just unlock it lol
Reneboy Domagas Jr.
Reneboy Domagas Jr. Switch carriers.
Adam Catello
Adam Catello By the international 1
Richard Ameen
Richard Ameen Sob for a week
Mark Marx Košcak
Mark Marx Košcak buy unlocked online..
Victoria Suppa
Victoria Suppa I look for a better phone on my carrier...AT&T.....lots of good phones :)
Francis Mogote
Francis Mogote I love it.
Marc Iwamoto
Marc Iwamoto Pound sand
James Warren
James Warren Cuss both companies in anger and swear I will not get a new phone and go back to the old school 2G phones then see something new and start the cycle all over again!
Garrett J. Benally
Garrett J. Benally I throw a blanket over my head and cry
Reid Bailey
Reid Bailey Get the next best thing...
Greg Smart
Greg Smart Throw phone at wall cause of frustration
Jason Vargas
Jason Vargas Get a similar phone. Galaxy Nexus = SGSII
Christopher Krieger
Christopher Krieger buy the phone on the other carrier at full price and unlock it for my carrier.....
Roman JuicyFruit
Roman JuicyFruit Gabriel u can unlock iphones tmobile easilt
Cris Alamo
Cris Alamo UNLOCK IT!!!
Trevor White
Trevor White Check to see if it will work on my carrier and buy it/unlock it
Mario Arias
Mario Arias Most phones have an international version, so if are on a GSM carrier you can import the phone if you really want it and pay the full retail price
Jonathan Morris
Jonathan Morris I cry.
Kevin Antoine
Kevin Antoine Unlock the sucker..
Raymond Apollo Williams
Raymond Apollo Williams I just buy a different phone lol
Gabriel Artiles Sanchez
Gabriel Artiles Sanchez It sucks! I have T-mobile and im dying for the iPhone!! I might have to switch carriers sooner or later if they do not have the iPhone for T-Mobile.
Isaac Castillo
Isaac Castillo Cry
Daniel Kallini
Daniel Kallini Cry in a corner
Christopher Williams
Christopher Williams I usually check to see if there is an unlocked version online that is compatible with my carrier.
Alex Panayiotou
Alex Panayiotou Switch carriers. Went from t mobile to Verizon for the 4S
Alex Lopez
Alex Lopez switch carrier
Ariel Orellana
Ariel Orellana switch between carriers
Rich Hernandez
Rich Hernandez i sue them for going to another carrier....oh. wait..
Oscar Zeon Dominguez
Oscar Zeon Dominguez buy the unlocked GSM version ( Galaxy Nexus)
Kyle Licht
Kyle Licht a lot
Kyle Licht
Kyle Licht cry
Jonathan D Diaz
Jonathan D Diaz wait for the next best thing on my carrier




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