Have you ever switched carriers to get a specific device?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| Published: October 6, 2012

Despite the fact that we’re well into 2012, and about to round our way into 2013, we’re still dealing with carrier exclusivities. Just par for the course, apparently. This last week, AT&T was busy announcing all sorts of different devices, some –if not most—of which were exclusive to the Big Blue carrier. While you may be excited about some Windows 8-based tablets, I think the cream of the crop would be the Lumia 920. So, once again, we have a high profile device that won’t be seeing the light of day on any other US-based carrier, which leaves a lot of people out of the loop.

Unless they decide to leave their current network operator and switch over to AT&T’s network.

I can’t help but flash back to 2007 when this sort of thing happens. At the time, there were other phones available on the market, and some of them weren’t even all that terrible. Especially not for the times. But then Apple unveiled the first iPhone, and suddenly the phone you were using just wasn’t good enough. The result? People did what they needed to do to get out from under their carrier’s umbrella to sign a new contract with AT&T.

All because they wanted Apple’s shiny new phone.

I flash back to 2007 because back then it made sense. I loved some of the phones I was using back then, but there’s no way to dismiss the fact that the iPhone made them pale in comparison. I wanted to switch to get the iPhone, and so I did. In my area, other carriers had better coverage, but it didn’t matter. I wanted the iPhone and the only way that was going to happen was if I switched carriers. So I did it, and I generally don’t regret the move. After all, it’s the phone that changed everything, right?

In any event, times have changed. While the iPhone 5 is out and about, selling like hot cakes, there are other phones out there that don’t slouch to the competition. In fact, there are devices that some people would say are even better (!) than the iPhone 5, and would gladly skip over Apple’s newest toy to pick something else.

But, more than that, the iPhone 5 isn’t an exclusive device to a specific carrier. So, unless you’re on T-Mobile here in the States, you’ve got the opportunity to pick one up. Hooray for choices!

Last night, I switched to AT&T and picked up a Lumia 900. Why? I want the Lumia 920. Because of my specific situation, waiting until November wasn’t a possibility. (However, if rumors of a November 4th launch pan out, then I lucked out, so it’s a win-win!) So I switched carriers for a specific device, something I’ve only ever done once before in my many years being obsessed with the mobile industry.

But, I know people who have switched carriers multiple times to get different phones. From AT&T to Verizon to pick up the BlackBerry Storm (I know, insanity); from Verizon to Sprint to get the Palm Pre; and from Sprint to T-Mobile to pick up the HTC HD7. There have been carrier exclusives for a long time, and it doesn’t look like they’re going to stop. Which probably has something to do with the fact that people are willing to change their carrier of choice to get the phone they really, really want.

Which is why I’m reaching out to you, Dear Reader. I want to know if you’ve ever switched carriers to get a specific device, and if so, which carrier did you switch to, and which device were you looking to pick up? Or, just to spice things up, have you ever switched carriers to get away from a specific device? (I can think of a few devices in the past I have run away from, but I’ve never gone as far as to switch carriers to escape.)