Majority of CrackBerry readers buy their BlackBerry SIM free than from a carrier with a contract

BlackBerry devices
By James Richardson on 26 Aug 2014 10:56 am EDT

Last week we asked the CrackBerry nation if you buy your device SIM free and unlocked or from a carrier, on a contract. I was quite surprised as the poll results went totally the opposite way to what I thought they would.

It seems that the majority of BlackBerry users (or at least the ones who voted) prefer to purchase their device SIM free and unlocked - giving them the freedom to choose their carrier and maybe a SIM only contract. This will of course vary depending where in the world you are as in certain countries you only have the option to pay the full price for the handset up front.

Taking a quick look through the comments it seems that many of you hate the idea of being locked to a carrier for a few years and this is understandable. It's also highlighted that pricing varies a great deal depending where you are. Most carriers offer BlackBerry smartphones with a subsidy, but how much you fork out at the start of the contract can range from nothing to a few hundred bucks.

With the BlackBerry Passport and Classic now on the horizon and BlackBerry selling devices direct, we're wondering if BlackBerry will put both of those devices on there as soon as possible or if their will be a lag time in between. I'm sure most folks would like to be able to buy the device ASAP, direct from BlackBerry.

Reader comments

Majority of CrackBerry readers buy their BlackBerry SIM free than from a carrier with a contract


Give me a dual sim phone and I'll buy 3 tomorrow. Best thing for work and traveling :)

Posted via CB10

Unfortunately for us the consumer, the U.S. carriers, (at least AT&T does, remember the watered down Nokia e71x?), have to "verify" that any phone they sell will work properly on their network. So if they got a dual SIM phone in theirs hands, they would disable the dual functionality of the phone, (again, remember the e71x? The front facing camera wasn't on AT&T's "x" version, but it was on phones sold in other countries), or maybe just elect not to sell it.

Going without a contract doesn't really make sense to me, at least not on Telus(all major carriers?) in Canada. My understanding is the monthly fee is the same whether you get your phone subsidized or pay for it upfront. So you can either pay full price for your phone and plan, or you can pay full price for the plan but save a few hundred on the phone by going into a contract. Unless you really like to change carriers for some reason, not going with a contract really seems to be throwing away money. If your carrier doesn't screw you over any worse than the other ones, a contract makes sense... maybe? lol

for some of us it makes sense. i have an awesome plan so i don't mind re-uping my plan to get a new phone. however my GF is on WIND so it makes more sense to bring a phone than buy from them.

Oh yeah for sure there are carriers where it makes sense. But like James said, surprising that 2/3 of people pay upfront. Must be getting a lot of votes from countries where that sort of thing is more the norm.

Here in Argentina you don't get upgrades on your plan. As much as you can get is a subsidized phone for maybe 70% to 50% of the retail price AT THE MOST. So you end up paying for a new phone in fairly reasonable 6 to 12 monthly fees. But NEVER an upgrade for free, not even for a10 year old customer.

Posted using the fabulous on my Z10

It doesn't make a difference for us here in Canada whether we are on contract of not, monthly bill is the same. However, I am now in a plan that is cheaper than anything currently offered with a new subsidized phone, so it does pay for me to buy a SIM free phone and continue on my current contract. The plan I pay $80 for right now is currently going for $120 a month to new activations. So at $40 a month, it is cheaper to buy SIM free and keep my plan.

Posted via CB10

I got a ten percent discount on any plan from Virgin Mobile. I'm not sure if it's something they would advertise but I am quite certain that all the carriers would do something similar.

ॐ Posted via CB10 on my ‎Z30

I pay Wind $80/month for two unlimited plans (talk, text,data). Got the BB's for full price (unlocked) and I still don't feel sorry...

I'm on T-Mobile and I like the plan I have. Regardless of whether or not they support Blackberry phones, I would still have to buy my phone full price. The only difference is if I were to buy it full price from my carrier they give me financing as opposed to me using a credit card or paying straight out of pocket. Their Jump program is actually pretty nice, but you get locked into paying for phone after phone until you pay one of them off.

In any case, I prefer buying my phone outright from the Blackberry store. I keeps me from being tied down financially to yet another entity.

Posted via CB10

Actually all major Cdn carriers now offer 10% discount if you bring your own unlocked phone with no contract. Math still doesn't work out but it's better than nothing.

Posted via CB10

Freedom in general.

Here in Australia a contract means handcuffs.

You are legally REQUIRED to pay your contract fees, otherwise they deactivate the line and send debt collection agencies after you...
Which means, forget about your credit rating.

On a month-to-month plan, no such thing can happen. Even though I've got income protection insurance, I can't rule out not being able to pay, and if you had an accident or got a serious medical condition the last thing you want is worrying about handset repayments or a phone contract...

 BlackBerry? I premdict the future's gonna be chenomenal! 

A new regulation now requires carriers to give you 2 years warranty on your phone on a 24 months plan which only seems to make sense. I think it's that Aussie fair play thing...

Looks like too many folks ended up with a non-working phone and complained about not being able to make use of the contract while still paying.

If you buy outright, the standard (1 year) warranty applies...

 BlackBerry? I premdict the future's gonna be chenomenal! 

I like that warranty idea. But in Canada the gov has no balls and constantly bends to the wants of the carriers. So we'd never get this.

We have some of highest contract prices, long distance prices and data prices in the world. And we don't have ANY "unlimited " plans anymore :(

Posted via CB10

Here in the US we really do not have a choice except to be on a contract. Especially if you are on a CDMA carrier

Posted via CB10

I'm on Verizon but purchase my phone at full retail just to keep my unlimited can I purchase a sim free phone on CDMA, is it even possible.

No More Music!!!!! No More Videos!!!

All Verizon BlackBerrys come unlocked so you could buy it on Amazon or ebay

Posted via the awesome power of BlackBerry 10 on one of my lovely devices probably my brand new Z30 or my great Q10 or my beautiful Z10

Not true at all. There's plenty of prepaid carriers (gsm & cdma) to choose from with reasonable plans and pricing. I bought my Q unlocked for $200 and use it with H2O Wireless on ATT's network for $30/month. You just have to shop around and look online if you really want to drop your contract.

Posted via CB10

Yeah, my super cheap plan with AT&T that I've had for almost 6 years basically necessitates upgrading by 2- year contract. Otherwise, I would end up paying way more.

Posted via CB10

The problem is that my company like many companies has agreements with the carrier where we get our mobile contracts, that we get x% allowance on any unlocked device if we order it via that carrier...

If BlackBerry is giving us the same allowance we will continue ordering BlackBerry devices.

If not....

BlackBerry should really not price the new devices too high like they did with the PlayBook and the Z10.

Dreaming about the new Passport

Unfortunately, Blackberries are not stocked at US carriers. I got my q10 direct because it was cheaper with BBRY's promotion, and I also got my z30 direct because AT&T Does not carry it and there was a $100 off promotion.

I'm now on a non-subsidized plan, so buying direct makes all the more sense.

Posted via CB10

Well I did it a little different I bought a carrier Z30 outright and had it unlocked. - C00012735/ Mike Garson Photography - C00471EA8

I've been with AT&T for 20 years so obviously I don't have that many good choices. Plus, its cheaper for me to take the subsidy.

Makes no sense in the UK to have a carrier issued phone. The price tumbles down so quick on a well known auction. Only the desperate or needy will by carrier. You can always find a good deal here in the UK for cash if you need to. I would always suggest to pay up front if you have the means too.

Posted via CB10

Digital River was the absolute worst online purchasing experience I have had in recent memory.

Posted via CB10

Maybe Digital River can be replaced by Amazon as an extension of the deal. Or else they should get better really fast, because the direct sales model will be the primary distribution channel going forward, unless BlackBerry can forge new better Co- sales relationships with carriers.

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

I will only buy factory unlocked devices now that way I'm not twiddling my thumbs waiting on OS updates. I'm saving up now to buy the all touch replacement for the Z10/Z30

Posted via CB10

Emphatically agree about the updates. Waiting for AT&T to drop 10.2 was like watching grass grow.

Thumb-flicked from my Z30 via CB10

Emphatically agree about the updates. Waiting for AT&T to drop 10.2 was like watching grass grow.

Thumb-flicked from my Z30 via CB10

Not only that, BlackBerry devices are harder and harder to come by.
Carriers sometimes don't even bring in the new models
None of the carriers here have brought in the Z30 or Z3 for that matter so the only option is to get your own if you want it.
This poses a problem for BlackBerry because the devices are good but they are difficult to get,
People are lazy nowadays as soon as they realize all the trouble they have to go through to get a device the never mind it.
It's just easier to walk in a store and grab a cheap android phone that's right there as opposed to go and order it, customs etc etc.

Posted via CB10

I am in the USA, and it's tough not having a contract. I bought my Z10 from Blackberry sim-free. But it was only $199. I could afford that. It's tough for most to afford a $6-700 device up front. I like the sim-free option because I get updates faster, and I have less carrier bloatware on the device. Mainly the updates is the biggest reason. AT&T takes forever to update Blackberry's. And all USA carriers hate Blackberry.
If I end up with a Passport or Classic, I will most likely go with a contract.

I wish BlackBerry can stock blackberry passport on Shop blackberry shelves immediately the passport officially released ie SIM free

Posted via CB10

How about BlackBerry having a feature in the store where you indicate your region/ country and maybe preferred carrier and then they suggest the model you should buy from the online store. That way we cut out the carriers, many of which don't care about BlackBerry customers any way.

Isn't that just like the MicrosoftStore does? I ordered a Lumia 635 for the Mrs., and it was $99 off contract, and I indicated that it was to be with AT&T.

I've had the same contract since my Bold 9700. It is way cheaper than any of the current plans offered and I just called them the other day to ask if they give any credit to the customers who purchase their own devices and they gave me another 10 % off my grandfathered plan. Even if it's expensive to pay upfront, I will buy my devices on my own and stay on this contract for as long as I can, as it does work out cheaper in the end. Plus, they never even carried the Z30 so there wasn't much choice in the matter.

ॐ Posted via CB10 on my ‎Z30

It is way past time for BlackBerry to fire Digital River and continue building their relationship with Amazon by having them take over the BlackBerry storefront!

PROUD to be the 1%! Z10 on T-Mobile USA - Posted via CrackBerry 10

Not surprising - us crackberry heads are a little more inclined to get more than one device at a time!

Also means we're a little less responsible with our finances admittedly loll.

#CB10 #Q10 #Darkhorse

Carriers do not sell any BlackBerry products around here so I got me a Q10 from Amazon. SIM free and what not. I wanted a phone with a actual keyboard and BB has the best keyboard out there.
But there is one HUGE problem with BB phone - I can not set APN. I have wasted hours reading all sorts of workarounds and what not. So far it has been total waste of my time. :(
BTW, I have tested many different phones - sold here and not. Only BlackBerry phone is giving me this problem. Now I am a "proud" owner of almost useless Q10.

Carrier told me I need to add my APN and everything will work fine. Problem is I CAN NOT!

Blackberry 10

- Select System Settings
- Select Network Connections
- Select Mobile Network
- Select the icon on the bottom of the screen
- Change the Access Point Name (APN) to the word roam
- Username and Password will be blank
- Select save and restart your phone 

Posted via CB10

The only times I bought a BlackBerry device straight from the carrier were with Virgin mobile and Boost because they were CDMA and the carrier was prepaid. I really wish more prepaid carriers offered BlackBerry's, for those of us who like the classiness but hate to be on contract. Sadly too many people have lost faith in RIM and it's ruined things for all of us >_<

Posted via CB10

I totally agree. I've been trying to find any place that offers BlackBerry like this but they're nonexistent.

Posted via CB10

Providers in the Netherlands doesn't sale the blackberry Z30. I know 2 other having also bought the Z30 and move to a cheaper sim-only carrier. I also moved to a cheaper provider.

Posted via CB10

CrackBerry didn't take into account the country or continent. Been to UK and you can easily get a fabulous plan with sim free phone but here in Canada you better off taking a contract.

Back in UK when you have internet enable you can use BlackBerry services and it is not the same case in Canada.

Posted via CB10

The financial aspect wasn't so much of a concern when I started to buy unlocked devices outright, it had more to do with the freedom of being able to choose any carrier I chose to do business with and gave me a certain amount of negotiating power at renewal time. Recently my carrier started to offer $12.50 off services for bringing your own device. They don't allow you to apply it against your monthly bill but against services such as roaming or add ons. I'm already paying $40 all inclusive so any extra saving really adds up. Never again will I buy another locked carrier device.

Posted Using a Z30 Via CB10

In Sweden the only way to get a BlackBerry is to buy it SIM free from foreign online retailers, since none of the service providers offer them.

Yet Apple Bloggers and iFan websites always claim that Apple products are for the more affluent! Clearly Crack Berries spend right out cash to buy their BlackBerry devices outright. Apple FUD is to die for these days.

Posted via BlackBerry Z30

I bought my Playbook (a few years ago now) directly from BlackBerry. My phones (so far) I've bought outright from Virgin - if BlackBerry offers a better deal I'll buy from them :) (Passport & Classic)

I will wait to upgrade my z10 through blackberry to the passport. I don't want it to be locked.

Posted via CB10

Yes direct from BlackBerry. I would prefer to only give Verizon half of my retirement.

 Swiped off my Z10 

I purchase from carrier, especially now that they do upgrades every 2 years. With Telus in ON

Carriers give poor support for BlackBerry devices now a days... only thing we need now are OTA BlackBerry updates directly from BlackBerry...

Posted via CB10

It's cause most of the users are from non first world countries. Here contract systems are still unpopular.

Posted via Z10. All hail BlackBerry

I currently use a Bold 9930. I bought that used, but I'm still under contract with Verizon from buying a Z30 the week in came out and doing a 2 year contract.

I would buy all my phones SIM-free and go with AT&T or T-Mobile in a heartbeat if they had the quality of coverage I need where I work and live. Until they improve, Verizon is really my only choice.

Confirms that BlackBerry users not only have a brain, but they actually use it for correct simple math...

Ferrari ZetaTrenta STA100-2 Versione

I bough the Z10 for 209€ minus 50€ blackberry refund. So 159€.
With a sim-only t-mobile.
So BlackBerry sell The passport simlock free!!

Posted via CB10

Who came up with the poll question answers???

I buy the phone outright from a carrier but it's still locked. I'll then unlock it on my own. I imagine a number of people would fall under the same category as I do.

Me, never been on contract. On long term, its so much the same plus i'm not bound to any commitment fees

Posted via CB10 from my Z10STL100-1/

In Sweden you can only buy a blackberry with a business plan you can't buy it with a private plan. So I bought mine cash.

Posted via CB10

I can believe that survey, after my contract is up, I plan to upgrade to a contract-free Z30.

Posted via CB10

If asking the same question to other communities (iPhone, Android, Windows, ..) what would be their preferences ??

My guess, probably more in favor of contract based purchase.

What you guys think?

Posted via CB10

Currently I am on a Telus contract with my Z30. Guess I am in minority.

Posted via CB10 on Z30

Depending on the market and extent of BlackBerry base to migrate to 10 platform, I would anticipate BlackBerry to go direct more especially if they can not get the right carrier distribution. Remember T-Mobile USA not ranging at all through retail?!

Posted via CB10

Mainly true because after looking at phones for my upgrade, nobody stocks the z30 in the UK. Baring in mind I'm on ee T-Mobile and have checked them, carphone warehouse and phones4u

Posted via CB10

My problem is that last 3 BlackBerry phones I bought from AT&T the sales people kept pushing the iPhone or the galaxy S( pick a number) . Soooo I bought my wife a white Z10 direct from BlackBerry. Hopefully AT&T will actually sell the phone with a good display and salespeople using it as their personal device. If not I will fork over the cash to buy one up front.

Posted via CB10

Well of course.. we've all seen how hard the sales people at these places work to convince customers that BlackBerry is dead. I had to tell the guy at Bell to stop shoving Android phones in my face, telling him thanks for your "help" but I'm well aware of what the differences are.

Posted via CB10

If can get the device quicker from BlackBerry, I would definitely buy it asap, but wondering if it would work with Verizon.

Posted via CB10

Makes sense. North America is not the centre of the BlackBerry universe. Most other countries do not have subsidized phone contracts.

If you have a good contract and your team is done you can buy outright a new phone and put it on your contact that would be month to month!! This is in Canada

Posted via CB10

Rogers wouldn't discount my plan for bringing my own phone (they say it is too good already) , so I might as well get a subsidized phone. But I'm not going to waste my subsidy on a phone that I can buy outright for $200.

If you're like me, and have no need to replace your z10, why don't you use your subsidy to get a "popular" phone and then sell that phone on for some extra cash?

Posted via CB10

Sim free/unlocked is best. No limits. Lol

Posted via CrackBerry 10 (CB10) application using my BlackBerry Q10.

I am on a contract BUT the new AT&T plans are 4 lines unlimited calls and texts and 10gb data for $160...then the new phones are like 26 a month for 24 months...If you buy a phone direct from BlackBerry then no monthly fee

Posted via CB10

My carrier won't subsidise me for bringing my own phone, and they won't stock blackberrys,, due to poor sales and low demand, so I miss out on a free phone, with one of aussie's largest carriers. when will blackberry start to advertise themselves

Posted via CB10

Here in Australia I keep recommending the MVNO $40 prepaid/month-to-month unlimited plans. (Dodo, Amaysim, Boost, even Optus $2 days ...)

Plus an outright phone, of course...

 BlackBerry? I premdict the future's gonna be chenomenal! 

Would be nice to have the option to buy through a carrier in the UK. Try finding a white Z30.

Rocking my sexy white Z30

I purchase through the carrier. I don't understand how it's cheaper if I don't, I still have to pay the same price for the service plan regardless

Posted via CB10

Carriers are *igs. Why spend one dime more than necessary with them ? The open market is so much more responsive, reliable, flexible, less closed minded, myopic, disrespectful and disinterested. Axe to grind ? Probably. But I bet I'm not alone.

Posted via CB10

The poll might have gone differently if you didn't say, "I have to split the payments". I buy from the carrier whenever I'm eligible for upgrade. I don't do one of those terrible payment plans, though.

I have more friends because I do drugs!!

I didn't vote because I'm on Sprint and you can't get an unlocked BlackBerry device to use on there network. However I purchase my devices from ebay so I am not locked in a 2 year contract with the SOB's.

I have a new poll question for Crackberry to ask. How many readers decide not to participate, even if they want to, because the font size is way too small?

Crackberry must be using a 3 point type. Does it look different on different phones? I am using a Z10.

The next question is very important as it affects every poll Crackberry asked. How many of you have pushed the incorrect option because of the tiny voting box? This in itself flaws the results.

I have made this complaint before but no one is listening or they have a Z30 perhaps that shows a bigger voting box.

Big Brother Hoards Your Data, stop the hoarding.

Bought my Z10 outgright last year :) but unfortunately lost it 2 weeks ago :(
So now waiting for the Passport to come out to get it outright.
Most Aussie carriers had abandoned BlackBerry but as I had a really good plan with Vodafone (esp since I call overseas a lot) so opted to continue my plan but on my own phone rather than a carrier plan.

Well, speaking for myself, I'm somewhere in the middle. I am on my carrier's prepaid service, so I don't have a contract and as such purchased my Z10 at full price.

My problem stems from the fact that my lame ass carrier hardly sells any BlackBerry devices anymore. The only one they still have in stock is the Q5.

Every time I inquire about upcoming BlackBerry next gen. devices I get the same almost snide reply, " No and we probably won't again!"

As if the smug attitude wasn’t enough, though I clearly ask for BlackBerry and tell them very clearly that I'm only interested in their devices, the sales reps always, always try to peddle either Apple or Android, mainly Samsung, devices to me!

I sincerely hope that if BlackBerry puts out the all touch replacement devices for the Z10 and Z30 they will sell them directly on-line and unlocked, because the probability of my carrier offering them are next to nil. I'd consider changing carriers, but I don't have that much choice and the others are not any better...


Cartman says: Screw you guys I'm going home!

I got my z10 and 2 other smartphones for free from att. From my calculations it works out just slightly in their favor after 2 years.

Posted via CB10

For $90 bucks a month, I get unlimited Canada calling, unlimited texting and unlimited data...speed slow after 10GB...I receive a cell phone monthly allowance of $50 from I'm okay with my 2 year sasktel mobility carrier contract...get 4G out in the country...and LTE when in the city boundaries...usually use the tether blue tooth or hot spot for work on my notebook...

Rocking the Z30 Regina SK Canada

I had to choose unlocked BlackBerry because it's nearly impossible to get carrier purchased BlackBerry in Poland.

Posted via CB10

Bought my Z10 Sim free and unlocked, this is true ownership. Just bought another Z10 and two spare batteries as well. The accessories are dirt cheap too.

Posted by Meedia Moogulz via Z10

I sure hope it is released carrier free from day one. China and India are markets where smartphone adoption is still hugely profitable, and it seems like a mistake for these smartphone companies to continue the trend of favoring US carriers with first dibs, forcing anyone abroad to have to buy a Verizon or ATT branded device if they want to get one anywhere close to launch.

Personally, I have bought phones carrier free for the last 8 years, while living in China. There is an enormous market for unlocked phones that actually makes it really hard for carriers to compete. It would make so much sense to listen to prioritize the buying habits of the majority by not leaving them out of the initial launch date.

The current system of carrier priority first just seems backwards to me.

Posted via CB10

I always go with a contract because of the free phone.
People tell me the price of the "free" phone is built into my monthly plan.
Yet I am paying less than everyone I know.
I'm on Rogers in Canada
$20/mo. retention voice plan:
350 daytime outgoing minutes Canada-wide, unlimited incoming, evening, weekends, SMS, MMS.
VM, Caller ID w/ name display, Call Forward, 3-way conferencing. Per-second billing after the first minute.
$15/500MB LTE data.
Total: $35+tax.

I'm not a heavy data user. I use WiFi whenever I can, which is free at McD's, Tims, Starbucks at every corner. (Yes, I'm that guy, you know, the one who drops in, checks email, BBM, traffic, weather, and directions, without buying anything, then uses the washroom, and leaves. Hey, at least I wash my hands)

Anyway, I always keep my phone for the entire duration of the contract. When my contract ends, I call back and ask what phone they can offer me for free. For those who change phones yearly (or monthly), I guess a contract is not for them. The only phone I ever paid for was the BB9780. I paid $75 with a 3-year contract, but got a $50 credit on my bill. But every other BlackBerry and cellphone have been "free".

Maybe I should change my nickname to El Cheapo.

Maybe you should. Spend a little more on a contract, save weeks of your life avoiding McDonald's and coffee shops to hog-up wifi.

You'll thank me for it when you're older. ;)

Or just buy a tablet and carry an old Nokia.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry needs to make an online shop as slick as the Apple Store.

The company can no longer pander to the needs of carriers and vendors that no longer endorse them, let alone support their products.

And remember folks, Apple sell iPhones directly from their store.

Posted via CB10

No carrier I liked offered a BlackBerry Z30.... so I paid full retail price to get one, no regrets, so far.... the only issue Openvpn support is being addressed!!!!!

Cannot wait for openvpn....;-)

Posted via CB10