Last updated: May 7, 2012 - 8:40am
Wireless carriers are taking their first steps to change the terms of smartphone deals that have mostly benefited phone makers like Apple in a push that could leave consumers paying more for devices like the iPhone.
Carriers in the US have been raising monthly rates and charging higher fees when customers upgrade to new phones. In Europe, embattled carriers are taking more aggressive measures: Spain's two leading wireless companies are refusing to subsidize devices for new customers. In the global wireless market, where device manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung Electronics Co. and software makers like Google continue to hold considerable sway, carriers still typically pay full price for their phones, then sell them at deep discounts to customers who sign two-year contracts. But the carriers' latest signs of resistance are drawing applause from investors and analysts. They say the carriers could benefit more from the smartphone boom if they succeed in raising prices for service plans and slowing the rate at which customers buy new phones.
- The Rising iPhone Tide Will Lift Some Carrier Boats More Than Others
- Targets Shift in Phone Wars
- Carrier Trade Is Still In Apple's Favor
- How the iPhone Zapped Carriers
- IPhone-Weary TV Broadcasters Gear Up to Fight FCC for Airwaves
- Free iPhone to Escalate Low-End Fight
- Verizon to rural operators: You'll have to go to Apple for iPhone
- Microsoft and Verizon Plot an iPhone Rival
- Apple, AT&T Vulnerable to U.S. Ban of Older iPhones
- China Unicom Adds Record 3G Customers Undercutting IPhone: Tech
- iPhone's Crutch of Subsidies
- To small carriers the iPhone is about prestige, not activations
- New iPhone: Carrier Cash Cow?
- Apple CEO: Enough of This iPhone Subsidy Silly Talk
- Smart-Phone Makers Call the Doctor