Why the Nexus 4 Is a Great Choice for VoIP
The Era of Unsubsidized Phones
Two pieces of news recently have indicated that the US smartphone market is headed for a change. The first is the introduction of the awesome Nexus 4 by Google. Unlike the very first Nexus branded device sold, this latest one is seeing an unprecedented demand via the Google Play store as customers flock to the combination of a ludicrously low price along with extremely powerful hardware. The second news is that T-Mobile will sell the iPhone unsubsidized in 2013 and offer customers lower prices on their monthly contracts instead.
I have long held that one of the main factors holding back VoIP in the US market is the practice of subsidizing smartphones and selling them under contract to customers with a number of voice minutes already bundled in. Since people have to use their voice minutes that they have purchased, there is less incentive to make use of a technology like VoIP. With customers paying the full price for unsubsidized smartphones however, they will be able to pick and choose what services they want to use and while many will continue to purchase voice minutes, there are others who will want to make use of the power of the smartphones in their hands and opt for data plans instead.
The Nexus 4 Is Great for VoIP
Holding an unsubsidized phone without being locked into a contract gives you a certain sense of freedom. You can change carriers every day if that is what you wish. You can pick and choose the plans that best suit your needs. And when you have a phone like Nexus 4 that is available unlocked and unsubsidized for just under $300, the temptation to pick it up can be irresistible.
Such a handset is perfect for VoIP for a variety of reasons. To start off with, you have the stock Android experience running version 4.2. Carriers have no control over the software so you will also receive the latest and greatest operating system updates directly from Google as and when they become available. You can purchase a data plan independently of your voice minutes and use that for VoIP on a trial basis without any commitment. There is no doubt given the powerful options available, that many customers will at least try out for it for themselves.
Many may look back to the end of 2012 and mark it as the turning point for the US smartphone industry. Once people are be able to make apples to apples comparisons between the prices they shell out every month on their contracts and the amount paid by those with unsubsidized phones, there will be a greater trend towards paying the full price for the device up front and saving hundreds of dollars over the life of the contract.