CrackBerry Asks: Do you buy unlocked devices or carrier purchased?

By James Richardson on 23 Aug 2014 04:43 am EDT

Asking if you folk tend to buy your BlackBerry smartphones SIM free from a retailer or on a contract with a carrier may sound like a simple question, but I suspect it will be dictated slightly by where in the world you are.

Many people wouldn't consider buying the device SIM free purely because it means paying for the handset in full, up front - something that most people in this day and age probably can't afford. This is where the geographical details come into play as in some parts of the world, such as India, you don't have a choice but to pay the full price of the smartphone up front - so I'm told.

With the BlackBerry Passport and Classic rolling out over the next few months the decision of whether to buy unlocked or from a carrier on a contract will be playing on many peoples minds - not just the consumer, but enterprise customers too.

Here in the UK and in many other countries around the world we have options when it comes to purchasing a new BlackBerry.

Option one is that we buy the device SIM free, normally from an online retailer and pay the full price. This gives us the freedom to swap carriers if we want, as 30 day contracts are available and also, to just get a SIM-only plan from a carrier, which will be much cheaper each month than if the price of the phone needed to be added into the equation.

Option two is to stick with a carrier and get the BlackBerry on a one or two year contract. This allows us to pay for the device monthly over the allotted contract time - which often is best for cash flow but arguably costs you more over the long term because after all, that device isn't really 'free'.

So how do you purchase yours? Let us know in the following poll please.

Reader comments

CrackBerry Asks: Do you buy unlocked devices or carrier purchased?



100% unlocked. Hate the feeling of being toed down to a carrier. May seem more expensive at first but saves you money in the long run.

Posted via CB10

Isn't carrier insurance really important? I'm considering buying direct from BlackBerry this time around, but carrier insurance has been a lifesaver in the past.

Posted via CB10

Your exactly right insurance is very for me to have on my phones. I don't mind waiting for updates plus I am with Android now so the updates don't take nearly as long as it did with BlackBerry.

There are a number of 3rd party insurance providers you can insure your phone with. It doesn't have to be through your carrier. But it wouldn't be a bad idea for Blackberry to offer a plan like AppleCare+.

Thanks for the advice but I rather get the insurance through AT&T. They have been very good to me and my friend works in the corporate office so I get great rates for phones, plans and the insurance on my phones.

Having an "in" always helps. Personally, I can't say that I've ever needed to use that kind of protection. I tend to purchase an expensive case and screen protector and haven't had any issues except maybe a broken case. I've found blackberries to be very durable even without a case, though I don't prefer living without one.

Posted via CB10

I think this poll is missing an option. Provided by employer. If BlackBerry and the Passport are really for enterprise like they think, most people will be getting this provided through their employer.

Posted via CB10

This poll is missing a lot of options. Why is it only between "splitting the payments" and buying a phone unlocked? I don't fall into either of these...

Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10

Completely agree. Better to up front then to continue to owe this big companies and pay more in the long run

Posted via CB10

I would be paying exactly the same whether I buy from them or unlocked because I like my carrier, and I like my plan. So how exactly am I paying more in the long run? Just curious...

Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10

Because there's a chance you could find the phone you want for cheaper than the long term payments add up too. For example, I found my Z10 for $200 on Kijiji brand new in the box. With my phone plan I save $15 a month because I brought my own phone. Therefore at this rate the phone pays off for itself within the first year, whereas if I got it with a plan from the carrier, I would be paying that $15 for 24 months, which equals $360. So I save $160, plus the up front cost of the phone (if the carrier isn't offering it for $0 down.) plus I get to switch carriers whenever I please without paying a cancellation fee.

Posted via CB10

What long term payments? I pay $200 for the phone upfront, the rest is subsidized by my carrier for me signing the contract...

Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10

Another example. You can get an unlocked Z30 for $500 CDN on ShopBlackBerry, but if you get one as part of a contract with Rogers ($0 down), then you have to pay $600 over two years for the phone.

If you're still on AT&T, are you aware of their Next pricing? $15 discount for buying phone outright/not getting it on a subsidy. In the past I would have agreed that subsidies aren't necessarily bad IF you are choosing to stay with one carrier AND they don't give you a rate plan discount regardless of where your phone is from, but now they do.

The money they take off the initial price of the phone is worked into your monthly payment. At least that's how it works in Canada. For example: the base price for a plan is $50. They then add $15 a month to cover the money they subsidized when you signed the contract. But if you sign without getting a phone with the carrier, they take off that amount from your monthly payments.

Posted via CB10

I think that's all based on your carrier.

In Manitoba, it doesn't matter nowadays. If u buy up front, so be it.
If you do carrier subsidy, you can still pay the remaining balance of the subsidy to the carrier via a formula that takes into account the phone price outright and the number of months paid vs amount left on the contract period, is a formula and gives an amount you owe. It works out to the same amount basically as the full price up front.

Posted via CB10

On AT&T or Verizon in your plan is something called a "smartphone access fee" or a fee per smartphone. It's anywhere between $15 and $40. Now you HAVE to be with them for two years to avoid an ETF. So assuming it's $40, then you have a two year total price of $960 PLUS the $200 upfront payment you THINK is the total of your phone. And the kicker? After two years you still pay the access fee. Subsidized devices make the carrier able to charge more for their service and you'll be non the wiser.

Z30 unleashed

I've been with the same carrier for about 10 years and it's by choice. Never had a real compelling reason to switch yet. So having to sign a contract or not never really changed anything for me. So getting a new smartphone for $200 rather than $700 definitely worked for me. And then the money I get from selling my previous phone makes it even sweeter. For example, when the Q10 came out, I signed a new 2-year contract and got it for $200. I then sold my Bold 9900 for $218 on ebay, lol. :-D

Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10

The price of the new phone is no longer subsidized by most carriers. Now your monthly rate for your service is higher if you get a phone on a plan vs supplying your own phone. On AT&T, it amounts to $15 per line. I have five lines, so that means supplying my own phones immediately saves me $75/month. Couple that with the deals I can find when purchasing the phone, I'm saving over $400/phone over the life of the phone - assuming a two year life span.

Posted via CB10

I did the same thing when I got my Z10 on a 2 year contract for $200 and sold my Bold 9900 for $250. Then I bought the Note 3 for $200 and sold my Z10 for $200. I haven't actually paid for a phone in years and that's why I keep my phones in mint condition so I can sell them more money.

Now that T-Mobile isn't selling BlackBerry I might have to buy unlocked from now on. I have a Z10 but seriously want a Z30 x_x But I'm hoping for a refresh with 32GB of internal memory. Hate having to delete games from my phone :p

Posted via CB10

I'm from India where unlocked phones are preferred rather than carrier lock...

Posted via CB10 on my Z30

For BlackBerry, it's always unlocked. For iPhone, thru carrier. I can't justify the unlocked price of iPhones. In my country, its cheaper to buy iPhone thru carrier than unlocked.


MVNO unlimited plan, Australia.
$40 covers everything, no lock-in, up to 5GB data

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

I've paid full price for carrier SIM Berries, I've got free upgrades on contract, I've purchased new unlocked Berries, and RIM has given me around 5.

Posted via CB10

I used to buy them from T-Mobile, but we all know that's not going to happen anymore.

So I bought my Z30 at full price from Shop BlackBerry. I hope Shop BlackBerry will carry the Passport as soon as carriers do.

Posted via CB10

Does the phone that you bought direct from BlackBerry work with all of T-Mobile's network bands no problem? If so, how did you determine which one to get?

Posted via CB10

Usually Carrier purchases. Unfortunately here in the UK sim only deals don't usually give you the savings associated with buying unlocked.

Though that may change as there seems to be fewer and fewer 12 month contract available.

Posted via CB10

Well I'm in UK I pay £15.50 a moth unlimited calls and text 5G of 4G data on a 12 month contract I purchased my brand new z30 for £270 sim free that's
£456 in first year &
£186 in second that's
£642 for 24 months
or get from network £189 for the phone and £53.50 a month for 12 months that's £831 that's £375 in first year worst off
free phone and £43.50 a month for 24 months that £1044 for 2 years so I would be £402 worse off
You can get 12 month contracts on Vodafone for any phone but people do not look at the maths and see the total cost of ownership over 1year and 2 years

Verizon for me as well but I buy mine from resellers that can give me a better price.

Posted via CB10

Paid for in full and unlocked which I much prefer. Already putting aside for my next Berry so I don't feel it much lol

Posted via CB10

well,just to get this right..
I'm Indian..
So what goes on here is that it has been a trend that people buy phones paying up front.. as there are too many carriers and no major ones,per se (also, the costs differ too much in individual services, like call plans,text plans and Internet plans). also, dual sim phones may be a contributing factor.. as people need two cards from two different carriers (maybe because the cost of a call plan on one and an internet plan on a different carrier makes the total cost cheaper) .
and finally, prepaid is a big thing here in India.. so only paid up phones with unlocked sims can be used for that. (I guess)
there are contracts (by reliance, airtel, Vodafone) which people can now opt for, but awareness and availability is limited.. so the trend is only starting to catch up.

Zeeeeeeeeeeee ^_^

I'm entitled to free phones thru my carrier. Sadly the only phone they will not carry due to poor sales is blackberrys, so we are forced to buy unlocked berries

Posted via CB10

Can't vote. Dumb choices.

"Carrier -Need to split payment" seriously?

James, do you ever put any effort into your vote choices?

Also, we just had a CB update... so wtf is with this tiny vote?!?

Agreed, alright if you view it on your computer but should be larger on the mobile app. Maybe an option of pinch to zoom??

 Posted with the brilliance of my Z10 

James' choices make sense, if you know how the carrier bills you for the phone.

Your comment, OTOH....

Posted via CB10

It doesn't, and it's too regional - oddly, that doesn't include the UK market dynamic.

In the UK, although you'll pay more for a contract with a 'free' phone, the higher price can be cheaper over the life over the contract than the cost of a SIM free phone bought outright and a cheaper contract combined.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

Well I'm in UK I pay £15.50 a moth unlimited calls and text 5G of 4G data on a 12 month contract I purchased my brand new z30 for £270 sim free that's
£456 in first year &
£186 in second that's
£642 for 24 months
or get from network £189 for the phone and £53.50 a month for 12 months that's £831 that's £375 in first year worst off
free phone and £43.50 a month for 24 months that £1044 for 2 years so I would be £402 worse off
You can get 12 month contracts on Vodafone for any phone but people do not look at the maths and see the total cost of ownership over 1year and 2 years

I've never seen a carrier plan in Switzerland, Germany, Italy or France that is cheaper than buying unlocked...

Either the plan is freaking expensive or the down-payment by far exceeds the unlocked price... also always consider, the shorter the contract is, the earlier you can profit from discounts on the monthly plan fees by extending the contract w/o a new phone...

I.e. When I bought this beauty of a Z30, my carrier offered me 80 bucks discount on 1year basis but extending my contract by 1 year w/o new phone gave 10bucks discount... per month...

Ferrari ZetaTrenta STA100-2 Versione

At least in Switzerland those phones sold with a contract aren't locket to the provider. The phone is free but the contract has a minimal duration.

Posted via CB10

Unlocked. My current Q10 is the only phone that I acquired via carrier. All my other previous phones (my Bold 9900 and all my Nokias prior to it) were purchased unlocked from cellphone shops.

Posted via CB10

I have one of each.
My work BB9900 is part of a 2-year contract, which my employer pays, so this makes sense.
My personal BB9900 was an unlocked purchase and I have a SIM only contract for £9 per month, which give me all that I need.

Unfortunately. In Canada, I have to buy it from a carrier, or online from a carrier, and unlock it.

Both because my carrier won't carry the Passport.

And because Blackberry most likely won't sell them unlocked online at launch (I really hope they do)

Posted from the future by brain kinesis

I'm from India and I had bought the Z10 for well over 30000Rs. (500$). Now it's price is down to 250$! And it sucks!
No dislikes about the phone except that..

Posted via CB10

Here in Malaysia, no phones are sold sim locked anymore for more than 10 years. So it will be unlocked for me.

Just in case you didn't noticed there are no more network providers selling any BlackBerry phones here in Malaysia. You have to buy it on line or order it through a retailer come back a few days later to pick up your device as most retailers don't keep stock of BlackBerry smartphones.

Posted via CB10

I can see Celcom still offering them,only Q10 though,Z30 is out of stock. But it's for the expensive First plan and pretty much doesn't justify the price compared to getting it without contract. I couldn't remember the time we ever had locked phones, but locked modems is abundant. When iPhone launched exclusive to Maxis, then only we could see the trend of getting phones through EPP became popular.

Posted via CB10

I get upgrades thru AT&T and hopefully they'll have the classic. It's a lot cheaper with a 2 year contract, I might end up paying around $150 for it upfront or less. Well see if AT&T offers it. I really hope they do.

Via my Z10 #Ichooseblackberry10

Although in the UK, barring EE, Vodafone, and Virgin, the rest sell unlocked devices anyway.

Posted via CB10

I buy it through the carrier on a monthly payment. I don't go around switching phones all the time, much less carriers so having it unlocked is pointless to me unless i plan to sell it which i never do ( my kitchen drawer has like 4 old phones in it).... if i can get a passport for less than $60 then i don't see myself upgrading to any phones any time soon. as far as i can tell, I'll be on my z10 for the next 3-4 yrs, and I'm ok with that.

Posted via CB10

Thanks for your valuable input. You are clearly an intelligent and insightful individual.

Z10STL100-2/ O2 UK

I really hope that his profile picture isn't what he looks like. If so then I now know why his comments make absolutely no sense

Yeah, no complaints here. Upgrade whenever I want, excellent customer service, unlocked for free upon request and a discount on the cash price of the handset.

Z10STL100-2/ O2 UK

Can't answer. The fact is that I use carrier purchased but I do not need to split the payments and as soon as I get a new handset from them, they unlock it upon request at no charge. I get my handsets from the carrier simply because if I get a problem, they make damn sure I have a replacement phone immediately or within 24hrs. I run a business and simply don't have the time to fanny around with repair centres etc.....

Z10STL100-2/ O2 UK

sorry I really can't vote as I intend to buy unlocked but bought my Z10 on contract out of ignorance and still owe them $279 ,I bought my Z10 when it came out on the First day.3 year contract.

Damn, 3 years!? My carrier separates the cost of the handset and the cost of the tariff (plan) so that if I want to pay up the handset instead of being stuck for 2 years, I can. This in effect enables me to upgrade whenever I desire. Like I said, they unlock upon request and usually within 24hrs and the repair/replacement procedure is all geared at keeping me happy.

Z10STL100-2/ O2 UK

I travel a lot, so it's unlocked for me and I just use a different SIM with data services in each country I'm at. Roaming prices for data are just absurd outside the EU.

Posted via CB10

I usually buy through Carphone Warehouse through a carrier but they only supply unlocked phones, best of both worlds really!

Posted via CB10 using my  Z10 STL100-2 /

In India we only have option to buy sim free phone. Only iPhone have carrier lock option that too from one carriers only rest carrier don't give such option.

Posted via CB10

Upgrade with AT&T. The contract doesn't affect me because I wouldn't switch regardless. AT&T is the only company with decent signal where I work.

I have more friends because I do drugs!!

I agree I have no intentions of ever leaving AT&T and I am on their Next program so I get to upgrade my phone every year. Note 4 here I come :)

It should be unlocked

My first BlackBerry Z10 (wall hugger) will soon be replaced by its successor Z20 but now it's hugging BB10.3.0.1052

I've bought both unlocked and carrier Blackberries. Whatever the best deal available is, I try to take advantage.

Z-30/STA 100-5/ USA

I am a tmobile customer in the states I prefer to get my phone from the carrier and pay it off when the next phone I like comes around. This is no longer a option if I want to stick around the brand that best fits my needs so it looks like unlocked will be my future decision unless I jump carriers. Contract for phones I can deal with but contract for phone service is whole other beast thus me sticking with Tmobile for the Time being but my patients is running thin!


Got my z10 from Telus on release day and my z30 I got online and it's a Verizon phone just put my sim card in and it's all good

Posted via Z30 from the sunny Okanagan

Unlocked and free, carrier would cost me £720 unlocked costs me £400 over a typical 2 year contract and that's with the cost of the phone and I get more minutes and data with Giffgaff

Posted via CB10

I am in contract with Vodacom in South Africa, but the phones here generally comes unlocked

Snow White Z10

Here in Germany unlocked phones are less expensive especially at Amazon or other Online-Shops. I would never buy a phone on contract again.

Usually on contract through Vodafone AUS but they stopped selling BlackBerry so I bought my Z10 outright. Hopefully BlackBerry can convince Vodafone to start actively selling their phones again as my contract has run out and I am now on month to month, just waiting for either the Passport or the new high end touch screen to come out.

 Posted with the brilliance of my Z10 

If you're in the UK, Carphone Warehouse.

Posted via CB10 using my  Z10 STL100-2 /

After years of being locked with various phones including an old BB5 device. I decided to break the stranglehold an purchased the Z30 unlocked 6 months in and no complaints. Enjoying the great device, good OS and 50% of my monthly bill for more data and less hassle. Should have done it years ago.

Posted via CB10

Yeah, you get that with the sim. My phone is unlocked and the splash screen for whatever sim is inserted comes up. I don't know how you are avoiding that.

Z10STL100-2/ O2 UK

Are you an idiot? Carrier Splash screen from a sim, LMAO!! It is baked in the ROM, see this is what carrier-locked phones do to you, they make you dumb.

On contract. For not having to buy the phone upfront but mainly for the convenience, in particular not having to worry about replacement in case it's needed.

+1 don't like those carriers to have a firm grip on my..... cell phone ;)

Buy phone outright off contract, if unlocked becomes a viable solution for us Canadians straight from BlackBerry than I'm all in

Posted via my BlackBerry Z30

I like more to pay full price for phone, on contract i pay to much and i can buy two phone on the end of 2 year, and its cheaper to be prepaid

Posted via CB10

100% unlocked... people that buy at a provider with contract are just cheating themselves, in the end they pay more for the phone and probably also for the contract and they are locked in. If you can't afford to buy a new smartphone every year or two, then don't... simple as that... just keep your current one until you can afford a new one...

Posted via CB10

I am also very happy with my carriers contract conditions and I my calculations showed that I'm not paying more as if I would buy the device full priced.

Posted via CB10

Always unlocked, since my first phone in 2001 to my last BB Z10.
Never say never, but I will probably never buy carrier-locked phone, for various reasons. I don't want to be "locked" or limited to anything, nor I even like how that sounds. I don't want carrier to decide whether or not thay should green light some update for my phone, and when. I don't want to be limited to a single SIM card/carrier. I don't want to have various bloatware apps preloaded in my phone. I don't want to have limited range of possible buyers, some day when I decide to sell my phone.
So, unlocked it is, and will be.

I have bought some on contract and outright both from Bell (carrier) it's easy to unlock online.

I don't get why so many people are afraid of contracts though. I know I'm going to want my phone for at least the next 2 years. I upgraded my Z10 to Z30 less than a year in, paid a penalty (about 250) and got my Z30 for 50$ on a new contract. Also the new contract had more data for the same price.

Posted via CB10

If for some reason you can't pay the high priced monthly fee, and you are on contract, you have ZERO options in Canada

They cancel your phone and contract, charge you penalties for every month remaining (sometimes close to 1000$) and if you don't pay all of that within a short time period they send it to collections which ruins your credit...

Did i mention you have zero options?

If you buy a phone outright/ bring a phone and get service with no contract, the minute you can't afford it you can cancel and only pay for what you have used

See the difference?

Posted via my BlackBerry Z30

What are you considering a high monthly fee? I am on a 2-yr contract. I pay my plan price a month, say $75 after taxes etc for my unlimited data, talk time, display, voicemail, etc.
Whether or not I take my own device in or buy on contract, its the same plan price!

Posted via CB10

I understand something can happen financially in 2 years, it happens. But if you're not in a position to pay off your contract maybe 700 dollar phones shouldn't be your hobby.( not trying to be a dick) I know carriers in Canada are pretty greedy but if they give me a 700 phone for free on contract I don't expect to be able to stop paying a few months down the road.

Posted via CB10

Carrier purchased. I have no reason to buy unlocked devices. Unless AT&T Decides not to carry the passport then I guess I will need to.

Posted via CB10

Depends. Got my Z10 as an upgrade on contract, but when I switched to the Q10, I bought it outright

Posted via CB10

Both. Depends on the device. My Z30 was bought from Bell cuz Rogers didn't support BlackBerry from the launch of the Z30 so I said screw you... karma, love it!

Posted using the best phone ever, the Z30!

Big Red VZW kept (or keeps) charging you for the phone even after the two-years are up if you don't upgrade. They rake their customers over the coals. I suspect some other carriers do the same. Grr!

TMO's no contract plan is great, but you are both buying the phone outright and it's locked!

My next BlackBerry (especially if TMO isn't selling them) will be bought from BlackBerry direct!

I like my coffee BlackBerry Black! What?

I could not agree more and especially your TMO statements. I, too, have gone that route. Next will be unlocked Passport.

Posted via CB10

As in my country the carriers are selling even subsidised phones unlocked since late 90s, the questions sounds archaic...

Posted via CB10

Unlocked contract-free of course. Not only you get more freedom, but like this the device costs less than from the carrier. Roaming savings are extra.

I purchased my Z30 unlocked from a classified ad. BNIB from a BlackBerry employee and paid $400 cash. That's how I'll be buying all future phones.

 Z30 Rocks 

Why is it whenever Crackberry runs a poll it always puts some unnecessary additional comment alongside the principle answer such as "It works out cheaper in the long run for me" or "I need to split the payments"?

People's reasons can be many and varied, stop trying to spoon feed us!

I like own out right whatever I want and I hate contract, so I get phones unlocked (I can migrate between carrier/plans as I wish).

Posted via CB10 - Powered by Q10

100% Unlocked forever!!!
I hate Carrier bloat software and horrible advertisements. Then they call to sell you ring tones and "Call back Music". Utter junk!
The people who get Carrier phones run into trouble when they have a real problem with their device. Soon they run into hidden "clauses" and"gotcha's "
I like my option to sell, mod and fix my own device thank you! :)

Posted with my Sweet Q10!!

The 'Poll" questions needs to be expanded to include those who do both outright purchase and carrier contract. I do both.

Posted via CB10

Another option in the UK is to go a retailer who sells devices and isn't a carrier such as Carphone Warehouse. I can get a contract with any carrier I want and have my device unlocked at the same time. I can decide to switch my sim card whenever I went to, not that I will until my contract runs out but I will probably upgrade to a new device

Posted via CB10

Don't forget, if you're on O2, you have the opportunity to pay up the phone part of the contract whenever you want and then get an upgrade handset and start again. With no penalty.

Z10STL100-2/ O2 UK

Verizon CDMA phone purchased through Verizon at full price.
Equipment protection plan covers any phone I activate.
Never another subsidized phone for me.

Posted via CB10

Courier-purchased devices. In my country, courier devices are, by default, unlocked :)

Posted via CB10

It would be nice if we could see the poll results by country...
I used to buy carrier phones but the thought of a two year contract (that's the norm now) makes me think twice. I did the maths and sim-free makes the most sense for me.

Z10 STL100-2 EE UK

I buy it off contract from kijiji/craigslist. The carrier lock is not a deal breaker because realistically for Bell/Virgin phones, bell has the same plans as telus/rogers, and virgin has the same plans as fido/koodo.

I aim for unlocked, but if it's locked to Bell/Virgin it's fine to me

Posted via CB10

Now I have A contact in BlackBerry I purchase mine from inside feels a lot better not being attached to contract.

Posted from my Z30

I think that buy unlock devices is better because you can select any company of communication. Definitely unlock devices is my choice.

Posted via CB10

It's a case of having to buy from amazon or ebay UK as carriers here in Ireland don't stock BlackBerry. I previously started buying my BlackBerry online on ebay etc then switched to carriers when the torch 9810 was launched with o2 next up was torch 9860 first BlackBerry 10 was z10 contract is up now so went back to amazon got z30 unfortunately you can't purchase BlackBerry phones on BlackBerry website in ireland and carriers don't support BlackBerry in ireland so in the long run I will always buy from amazon etc works out cheaper in the long run previously I would have had to stick to carriers on BlackBerry 7 as you needed to buy an add on for BBM to work. And not all carriers did this so you were stock with 2 carriers

Posted via CB10

Unlocked for me. I'm on AT&T, and if you buy on contract, you pay more per month on your plan. If you BYOD, you only pay $15/mo per line plus data. It's $40/month per line plus data plus data when you buy subsidized. When you pencil it out, you pay much less with BYOD, and you have more flexibility and quicker software updates.
If you go with iPhone, you don't have much choice. You must go with a locked phone on a two year agreement. I'll take a Classic unlocked asap please.
BTW: my cost with tax for two lines and 10GB of data, minus my discount equals $125/mo on AT&T.

I don't necessarily buy unlocked, but I generally buy phones outright. I don't like monthly phone payments, and I like the ability to move around if a better deal presents itself. I definitely don't do contracts.

Posted via CB10

Used to purchase on a plan as that was the most cost effective. Now, carriers are switching to plans that charge more if you purchase the phone in plan, so the last five phones I've purchased have either been purchased unlocked from the manufacturer or from individuals.

I'm deliberately cutting out the carrier.

Furthermore, I'm no longer under contract, so I can change carriers - today, if need be.

You listening, AT&T?

Posted via CB10

unlocked. In Italy carriers tends to put BB prices insanely high. Iphones and samsung phones are very cheap.. As usual, BB seems full of idiots in sell department.. They absolutely don't want to sell phones (at least in Italy)

I have to admit, I'm a huge BlackBerry fan, and have had four devices, but I've never bought a new one. I've always picked them up in the second hand market.
The closest I came was over a couple of years ago when I nearly picked up a Bold 9790 on a two-year contract, but was advised against it by the sales staff. They were actually quite right - it was way-overpriced compared to the competition. I later picked one up a second -hand one few months later for £50.

Posted via CB10

My next phone will likely be unlocked as T-Mobile has dropped future BlackBerries correct?

Posted via CB10

I got lucky and snagged my Z30 unlocked directly from a BlackBerry employee at a pretty discount. I don't think I can ever buy from a carrier again.

Posted via CB10

It should be mandatory for the carrier to state on your monthly bill how much you are paying for the phone and how much you are paying for the service. As it stands, they continue to charge you for the hardware after your contract is up. Rip off.

Posted via CB10

After my experience in the last year switching from Sprint to T-M I will be purchasing unlocked so that I can go were it best if need be. It would be great if one could buy the phone via blackberry and also pay for service through blackberry, than one would not ever be concerned about updates and coverage. up until a couple of years ago I could get a free upgrade phone and my plan would stay the same. That is when you sign a contract. I bought my phones through T-M. My big question is insurance for the new Blackberries that I will be purchasing?

I only use carrier based with the phones my corporation purchases for me every year.

But as soon as the contact expires I simply unlock the phone prior to sell it.

Posted via CB10

Here in the Philippines most of us buy phones unlocked because a lot of people here are on prepaid, and the carriers don't offer good mobile phone choices anyway. Purchasing unlocked phones also allows for more freedom on the consumers' part too.

Posted via CB10

Definitely unlocked! Never bought a locked smartphone in all my 6 yrs using BB! It offers more flexibility to switch and freedom knowing the phone is not locked and works out much cheaper since smartphones are far too expensive in Jamaica here!

Sim free and unlocked every time. The thought of having a carrier in control of what I can use and when I can upgrade/ change plans is horrible.

I like the freedom of owning my own phone and deciding what I'm going to do with my phone that month.

Posted via CB10

Usually from a carrier on contract. I don't always have the $ to buy up front. Though I did with my q5.

Posted via CB10

I bought my Z10 for 190£ unlocked. It was the best deal I ever made, but I'm not sure I would pay 450+£ for an unlocked device.

Posted via CB10

I used to buy from carrier but I'll start buying unlock in order to keep my plan. New devices here in Canada all require a new plan

Posted via CB10

I am settled in Dubai and prefer Carrier unlock because of a different reason.

Hardware keys from Carrier have Arabic (in dark orange -brown font) imprinted in addition to English(At least that was the case with Q10 initially)

I would hate it if the Passport have two languages printed on keys after all BlackBerry is looking for a clean view ...unfortunately one of the early leak videos had Arabic printed as well. See below for reference

BlackBerry has opened up Official Store here very recently and am planning pick one without carriers.

I typically buy through the carrier. But I wouldn't hesitate to buy it direct if what I wanted (ie passport) isn't available through the carrier.

I am starting to get annoyed by the way these polls are worded. There is a choice presented (to be I can vote one direction) but then they add some extra sentence that doesn't sound like me.

Ie I buy through the carrier out of convenience, not because I need to split payments.

Posted via CB10

I hate the carriers' contracts.

"Llets save them a couple of hundred dollars. That way we can treat this customer like junk and they can't afford to leave us."

Posted via CB10

I've been buying Sprint's Blackberry 9930 Bold for the last 3-4 years for my company. It comes unlocked.

I only buy unlocked devices off the retail shelf. They're usually cheaper compared to the total cost of owning one with career contract from where I live.

Posted via CB10

Here in Canada I have never seen a less expensive deal because you have your own phone. Unlocked or not. I get a free one or discounted is I can but generally break it within a year and buy used off kijiji. Can get good deals on BlackBerry that way.

This survey questions were lame.

Reg Q10SQN100-1/

In the past I have always bought a phone thru Best Buy or direct from AT&Tj on contract. Then I buy an unlock code from a third party so I can use the phone while traveling. In the future I will buy unlocked phones from BlackBerry if they sell them direct to consumers. I will not be locked in to AT&T again. Polls like this loose the impact because they do not offer enough choices or the wording is limited. There should have been more options. So I did not answer the poll

Here in Canada there really is no point in buying an unlocked phone. The Carriers that offer no contract have very poor coverage, and I can't be without service anywhere I go as I run 2 companies. So to have good coverage you need to go with either Bell or Rogers and they only offer two year contracts and the price is no different whether you get a phone on the plan or BYOD. I bought my Z10 for $90 from a relative that worked at BlackBerry, so I couldn't say no to that, but that's the only time. Now as I was at the end of my 2 year contract, I just upgraded to a Z30 for $0 and signed another 2 year contract. My monthly bill is $65 and of that $25 goes to paying for the phone. To buy a Z30 straight out is $600 so it's a wash in my books. I get unlimited talk and text and 2gigs of data.

Posted via CB10

I buy it outright from Verizon since it's the only way to keep my unlimited data plan.

Posted via CB10

Got tired of carrier crapware and the rest of their BS long time ago...only unlocked for me. Gives more choices and options.

...forever BlackBerry ...

When living in Thailand I bought phones unlocked. Since being back in Canada, I have had to buy on contract from Carriers.

Posted from my new Z30

I guess it depends for me.

Maybe because I'm from the US and I have at&t that I don't see why buying an unlocked phone versus a carrier only makes may difference in pricing. I've Ben with them for like ages and still have my unlimited data plan with them...

So I have no reason to feel the need to change my carriers anytime soon. upgrading to my next phone with them doesn't change my plan anyways and clearly don't want to make any plan changes...

The only time and usual time I would by unlocked is when they don't carry the phone I want, ie the Z30...which by the way is running very smooth with the latest 10.3 release!

Posted via CB10

Unlocked all the way and tesco sim only deals so while all you suckers fork out £30 to £40 per month i get all the usage in need and more for £10 a month. If you go online to buy, i used mobi city and paid £220 for my beautiful Z10 about a year ago, the best quote i could get from carrier was nearly £400 quid. Best of all I'm not tied to a parasite that takes the piss out of its customers, advertises itself on your handset and tries to make out its different from the rest of the parasitic carriers by some pathetic marketing campaign that really is making something of nothing. Basically i avoid phone shops because the twat that tries to tell me BlackBerry is over and what i really need is an android will require major dental surgery to remove said android from his mouth!

My lubbly jubbly Z10. Shine on you crazy BlackBerry

Unlocked, while desirable, isn't really all that viable an option in the US because you are then limited with respect to which carriers you can then use. I think eventually that will change, but not in a time frame that enable me to buy an unlocked Passport.

unlocked allways so i can change my carrier when i want :) but also for the price (for the same contract i pay 10€ for an unlocked phone and 50€ for 24 months if i buy a locked phone)

I think these surveys are very poorly put together...I buy my cdma (Verizon) devices outright so that I don't have to sign a new two year contract and lose my unlimited (throttled) data.

I'm contemplating going to AT&T so that I can buy my phone straight through the BlackBerry web site. If BB10 devices had data compression then I would feel free too switch.

I drive for a living and use up at least 10 GB of data each month!

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

Always "unlocked". Never buy on a contract. I don't want someone else telling me what I can or cannot do witb my phone.

Here's a few question: I'd prefer to have an unlocked dual-sim (especially since traveling abroad with a Canadian service provider is expensive). The question is whether with a dual-sim can both sims be active at the same time? Can they simply be toggled or does the phone have to be rebooted?

Posted via CB10

I have a cheap Android Samsung Galaxy Y Duos. You are reachable on both SIM cards at the same time. Of course you can only make one call at once. There is a simple switch to choose the SIM for outgoing calls an text messages.
Only one SIM is used for data. I thought its possible to switch the data SIM without rebooting.

Posted via CB10

Luckily swiss carriers don't lock phones sold with a contract anymore. They lock only cheap prepaid bundled phones.

Posted via CB10

Actually, up to now I've bought my BlackBerry phones from T-mobile, but unless BB and T-mobile kiss and make up I'll have to purchase an unlocked phone next time. My concern with that is getting OS updates.

In india, there is no such thing called contract. You have to buy device outright.

Posted via CB10 on ZED10

I am a TMO customer so I bought my Z10 on a payment plan (before breakup) and my Z30 unlocked on AMAZON. But I use my devices in US and MX so I tend to get them unlocked as soon as I can or buy them unlocked already.

Posted from myZ30 via CB10 app

My vote was to Unlock for obvios reasons... only option as a TMO customer.

Posted from myZ30 via CB10 app

I'm from the States and I've been with AT&T since '02 so I usually go through the carrier to purchase a device. I may consider going with a SIM plan and buy the device unlocked going forward. You all raised some good points!

Posted via CB10

Purchased all of my BlackBerrys on contract with the exception of the Q10. That was unlocked and it worked out fine.

Posted via CB10

I'd love to buy devices carrier-locked in India, only because otherwise the price is really high

Posted via CB10

I like my unlocked z10 for updates and got a great deal...would like $200 saving to buy direct from BlackBerry. I will buy from AT&T direct IF they have a display and salespeople selling the passport like they do for the other phones who shall not be named.

Posted via CB10

In Jamaica you pay "full " price for carrier phones AND they are also locked too.

I get it a little cheaper as a business customer .

Posted via Digicel Z10

I bought my Z10 outright from T-Mobile instead of making payments. In addition, I am on a no-contract plan. My previously BB device was an unlocked T-Mobile device that was bought off of eBay and I used it with Simple Mobile (also no-contact). My first BB device was locked to Virgin Mobile's network (the SIM is glued to the device), but it too was a no-contract plan. In my circumstances, buying the device outright was my only option if I wanted to get a BlackBerry device. Had T-Mobile not started offering their no-contract plans last year, I likely would have bought an unlocked Z10 and kept Simple Mobile as my cell provider.

When I upgrade to the Passport. I will buy an unlocked device since T-Mobile USA is highly unlikely to be back in BlackBerry's good graces anytime soon.

both. Ill pick up a new phone from telus then sell it a year later for a new model.then a year later repeat.

Unlocked now that carriers in the US don't support BB10. AT&T doesn't carry my device, the Z30. If they don't pick up the Passport, I'll be buying that unlocked as well.

A others have noted this is not so simple. In some places there are no reductions in plan cost if you bring your phone instead if buying from them. So, if you do know that you are going to be with some carrier for a while anyway, it absolutely makes financial sense to buy from them, even if you travel a lot and would use local SIM - paying the unlocking fee may still be better than paying the full cost of the phone.

Sure, you may want to switch carriers early at some point. At that time you'd have to pay the remaining balance to terminate the contract hut even that (plus unlocking fee) is just a possibility. So you end up choosing between:

a) always paying everything upfront, having the freedom but also responsibility for the phone.

b) having less freedom, less responsibility, paying nothing/less upfront, keeping the same plan cost and MAYBE having to pay a bit more *IF* you decide you need unlocking or to switch carriers...

With fair plan cost in case you being your own phone it would be clear - I'd probably buy unlocked all the time. Otherwise, even the I can get phones from friends at employee costs it still does not make sense... for me.

Posted via CB10

The poll selection is too limiting.

I realize you are trying to keep it to two choices. Remove the "I can't afford it" and then that would be my selection. A lot of us in the USA do 'new every 2' refreshes where new phones are generally discounted to $200. That and some carriers do not provide discounts to non-subsidized there is no benefit to not taking the new every 2.

Posted via CB10

Wish you hadn't put the extra comments behind the poll. I buy from the carrier, but it has nothing to do with splitting the payments. I'm on Verizon and BlackBerry doesn't sell CDMA devices in their online store. Plus, I don't mind being on contract and I don't have unlimited data so the phone is cheaper. Given the right circumstances, price of the phone doesn't matter that much to me. If I want it, I'll buy it.

Posted with my Z10 on Verizon

I typically buy carrier purchased, since Sprint can be very finicky sometimes about the phones on their network. I also don't have the patience to search through device types and deal with Sprint (different policy depending on who you talk to) customer service to find correct types. But since I may have to buy the PassPort off contract, I'm going to be in for a doozy dealing with them now. Lol.

Well I have Verizon, so it's a phone that was at one point sold by them no matter where I buy it.

It's not sold by BlackBerry direct, but it is unlocked. This survey doesn't have an option for this.

Posted via CB10


No financing. I've learned being debt at all is bad and it's the world's way of keeping you and owning you. People who really can't afford a $700 phone is why so much people aren't going anywhere, are extremely in debt and are owned by banks and such.

Posted via CB10

These votes really need a bit more space between the choices, A, B and Vote. I don't think on a Z30 it would be much of an issue, but unless you use a fine stylus it is difficult to use your finger or thumb to make a choice. Always takes me two or three ginger presses to select the correct choice; and that is if I haven't chosen Vote by accident and left the page entirely.

Posted via CB10 on my Q10

Used to buy only carrier devices. Could never really afford to buy a device outright. However my current device Z30 I did buy unlocked and outright. Definitely the way to go. But I understand many people cannot do that. I sure was one.

Posted via CB10

Would love to buy unlocked without the carrier. But I'm a Law Student so I decide to not spend all at once.

Posted via CB10

The poll answers needed to have a wider gap between the checkboxes. I kept taping CARRIER instead of UNLOCKED.

I'm using the CB app on my Z10.

Posted via CB10

I get my phone through AT&T. I get it every 2 years with subsidy so i only pay 199 for a phone with 2 year agreement of a plan. I have to have a plan so why pay 600 dollars for a phone plus pay for the plan?? Unless you want to leave carriers.

Unlocked is more expensive in the total cost in this case.

Posted via CB10

"why pay 600 dollars for a phone plus pay for the plan??"

That used to be true, generally (i.e. I'm not speaking for your particular situation, as I don't know your plan.) Look at Next pricing now. You get $15 off each month for BYOD or buying your phone phones.