Have you ever switched providers for a phone?

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| May 10, 2013

Earlier today an advertisement from Nokia popped up on YouTube that revealed some new details about the Nokia Lumia 928 device, which is the newest installment of Nokia’s popular Lumia series and very similar to the popular Lumia 920 device. Some key differences between the two include a slightly differential housing design, AMOLED display on the 928 vs. LCD on the 920, and finally, the 928 is offered exclusively through Verizon while the Lumia 920 is offered exclusively for AT&T.

I’ve been a huge fan of the Lumia devices since hearing about the 920, and especially after testing it out in person I really do enjoy the device. I never thought I would be a huge fan of Windows devices again after my experience with Windows Mobile, but Windows Phone 7 and 8 worked very well in the form of a tablet or a phone. It’s no surprise that sometimes I find myself debating whether I should switch companies in order to get one, but ultimately I always stop myself because, to put it bluntly, of the unknown.

I know how Sprint works for the most part. I don’t necessarily like being locked into a contract but knowing how things work makes it a little less comfortable being locked into one. By switching carriers I would be playing in a very unfamiliar field and may end up even more unhappy than I am here – all in the name of a phone that I just had to have. Would it be worth it? In the end I’ve always decided no because as nice as that phones there’s probably a similar option available to me where I already am – I’ve always looked at the bigger picture. While it’s easy to deduce that I would enjoy X phone over the phone I currently have, it’s not as easy to decide whether X company would be better suited for my needs than what I use now.

When it comes to carrier exclusives I have to wonder why some companies do it. It was once speculated that the HTC One might only be available to one carrier, and thank goodness it didn’t because as great as the phone is I just don’t think it’s anything revolutionary enough to drive that many people to switch carriers to get it. I’ve only ever known one phone with a force so strong that it was able to thrive off of a single carrier for almost four years - the Apple iPhone.

When the iPhone was exclusively launched for AT&T it was such a big hit that people flocked to AT&T, simply because it was the phone to have. It had virtually no competition at the time because it was the most polished smartphone on the market. It gained enough popularity within four years on one carrier alone before it was finally available on Verizon. That’s the biggest instance I can think of when it comes to people switching companies for a phone, but since that debut hundreds of smartphones that have similar functionality have been released and I’m still surprised to see that carrier exclusives still exist.

Do people still switch carriers due to phone exclusives? The Nokia Lumia 928 looks cool, but it’s just not enough for me to want to switch companies for it. It’s nothing more than another smartphone with a different skin covering it. Perhaps if it was another revolutionary phone I would consider moving, but since it’s not I’m just ever-so-confused on why any company would consider that a good business move in the long run. I don’t even think the Galaxy S III would have done nearly as well if it only released on one or two providers over time, but that’s purely speculation.

What I want to know from you, readers, is have you ever switched companies to obtain a phone that you wanted? Did you end up staying with the company or did you end up leaving? Do you think you made the right choice? Tell me the details in the comments below!

Image via WMPowerUser

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