CrackBerry Asks: Would you switch carriers for a phone?

By Adam Zeis on 5 Sep 2012 03:04 pm EDT
 BlackBerry Carriers  

In the past BlackBerry devices have been spread out across various carriers. Some GSM carriers had models that others didn't, and most times the CDMA carriers had different models all together. With BlackBerry 10 we know (for now at least) that there will be just two different models at launch - a full touchscreen device and one with a physical keyboard. We don't expect to stray too far from these models, so we'll certainly see basically the same devices on different carriers at launch.

For the purpose of this poll however, we want to know if a single phone would be enough to make you switch carriers. Say for instance you're a Verizon customer wanting the QWERTY BlackBerry 10 device, but it's only heading to AT&T (again, we don't know that, just using it as an example). Would that be enough to make you switch carriers? Or would you just rough it out with whatever devices you carrier offers?

Pick the option in the poll above that best fits you, then sound off in the comments with why you chose what you did. 

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

CrackBerry Asks: Would you switch carriers for a phone?


No - I live in a GSM country and stick to one month rolling contracts (far better deal) and buy my phones outright.

Probably. I stayed with my current carrier because they were getting the 9900 and a carrier with better service in my area wasn't. So it stands to reason that I would probably switch for the same reason.

Why did you post that then? Come on. There are better places to go to. But if you love reading crackberry AND still have the 9900, that's cool too.

I did when i was with Sprint. I wanted the Bold 9000, and knew they wasn't going to get it. so I jumped ship and went to AT&T.

Just wondering, they did get the 9930, before AT&T had the 9900 even, so was that really your only reason for switching? Just asking cause I have the 9930. It's still a world phone and pretty much identical to the 9900 other than networks.

I use my phone like a boss and sprint offers the best plan for "unlimited" and I can't see me moving unless they offered the exact same thing, "IF" by some reason BB10 isn't on sprint at launch I will have to BB7 until they do.....or we gonna have problems

What does it mean that someone uses a phone "like a boss"? Regular people use phone differently than "a boss"? Actually.. A boss of what?
Funny :)

I think he means using it until it no longer functions, after all possible methods to revive it. THAT, is like a boss.

It all depends on the carrier to me. Neither Sprint or T-Mobile have adaquate service in many of the areas I frequent so I would not "jump ship" to one of them for a new phone. I would however consider moving from Verizon (my current carrier) to AT&T in the right situation. A shiny new phone does me no good if I have no coverage.

Stuck on contract with the Bold 9900 on Telus for another 1.5 years after the earliest BB10 release Q1 2013, I'm not going anywhere anytime soon :( Blast these 3 year contracts in Canada. I would wait for a sub $400 off-contract phone to consider buying outright.

No No No... Buy out of your contract in January it will only probably cost you $300 and buy a BB10 on another 3-yr for (and im just guessing) $150.

$450 is worth it. I do it all the time and my wife kills me because of it but you know what they say...

Happy Wife...I mean NEW PHONE ...Happy Life!

I use common sense if youre current supplier aint willing to try and keep you for another 2years i move on ,why. Should you show them loyalty you are due them nothing you pay youre money and you get youre services

Many people live in places where there isn't much of a selection when it comes to carriers.

It would be downright dumb to jump to a carrier for BB10 if you could only get signal on the top of a hill on a sunny day with no wind and the birds aren't migrating... ;)

I thought the poll would have been clear in favour of jump carrier.

Many people live in poor reception areas - more live in good reception areas.

Live and @ birds aren't migrating.

Yes, in a heartbeat if what the other carrier was offering more benefitial to me yes.

Its also a way to show carriers to become more diverse in the product brand model they carry.

If enough people pass you over because you don't have X product maybe its time to stock X


The blacker the berry the sweeter the use...

It doesn't seem to be so much of an issue outside north america with regards to exclusive phones usually, although this time you have to assume that rim are going to want as many possibilities to sell bb10 hardware as possible and not even NA will have any exclusives.

I have a seven year old grandfathered everything plan with TMO that I'm not giving up until they pry the Berry from my cold dead hands. I have to keep the plan.

I have 4 smartphones on Sprint, and moving to another carrier would cost me a fortune to get less than what I already have. Nope, BB10 or not, I'm sticking with Sprint; my 9930 will just have to last. (Hoping I don't actually have to put my money where my mouth is though.)

I really wanted a 9800, and then a 9810...but VZW's coverage is better than AT&T in my area, so I went with the 9650 and then the 9850, and now a 9930.

Short answer - No!

When that happened to me all I did was go to Craigslist & purchased the phone I wanted 2nd hand. Unlocked it, & used it on my carrier :)

I refused to go with AT&T when I was looking for my first smartphone and they were the only ones with the iPhone (at the time), and I'll do the same again. Luckily though, as I understand it the radio that RIM's putting into the BB10 phones should support both bands and not require GSM/CDMA variants. Or, that might just be wishful thinking.

Where's the 4th option: "I don't care if my carrier has a phone - I buy it outright elsewhere and unlock it"

... Now, of course for the peeps in the US still stuck on CDMA, it's a different story - they don't have choice but to buy what the provider offers them. GSM is the way of the world boys & girls....

I tell ya; CDMA towers must be much cheaper, because the CDMA carriers seem to have phenomenal coverage compared to the GSM companies.


I'm in indonesia right now on my rogers 9900 and it works great with a local sim card. Cost the equivellant of $8 canadian for a sim card, one week of BIS, and there are some rupiah left over for texting which is like 2 cents each here.

Yes I would switch, long as the coverage is right in my area. Why pay monthly on service for a phone you don't really want?

I'm on US Cellular...we didn't even get the 9930...I'm stuck on a 9350 Curve since I want a keyboard. Soooo...if we don't get BB10 (which is altogether possible since US Cellular is in love with samsung and android) I'll be dropping USCC like a rock, since my contract end date coincides with BB10 launch.

That's the only reason I haven't gone to US Cellular. They have (BY FAR) the best coverage in my area, but their device selection is crap.

I'm in the Chciago area so coverage isn't an issue. We originally went with uscc for price but even that's not impressive any more.

Uscc has sold their soul to android and the customer churn rates speak for themselves.

I would switch if another carrier had reputable service and the phone I wanted. Why would I stay with my current carrier and "settle" on a device?

Never really made sense to me that carriers would have contracts to carry only certain models (unless their data services don't support the phone).

funny enough i have no reason to leave my carrier they are the biggest in canada(Rogers) and have given me a 6gb super plan in prep for bb10 i know they will carry all devices i need and if not i can buy unlock and take outright.

In Canada we pay exhorbitant early cancellation fees, so if you are not careful about how far along you are with your current contract you could be stuck paying more for a new device if switching to another service provider. I know from experience.

So, there needed to be a "depends on if my contract is up or not" option.

wow ok i gotta be more specific rogers is a max of 500 never knew it got worse lol altho rogers is 500 regardless of the year

If I really really wanted a specific handset (and the contract t&c's were reasonable) then yes, I would change carrier.
However, I have been with my current carrier (Orange UK) for c.20 years, and though they are always late in releasing the new BlackBerrys, they get there in the end so I will probably be staying put for now!
You have to be happy to wait with Orange (UK) as they test the phones for longer than most other carriers prior to release, as Orange shoulder more of the warranty liability than the usual Carrier-Manufacturer business model.

Where am at, we don't do contracts and none of the carriers lock any of the devices they sell so I can use which ever phone I please with the same line. Only downside is GSM only but thats not too bad.

If my carrier wasn't offering the phone I wanted, I'd probably buy an unlocked phone outright.
The deal I have now can't be matched by any other carrier, and the SIM only deals for unlocked phones are even better.

I've been on TMobile since one month before they took it from Suncom and I'm grandfathered in on 1000 anytime minutes and unlimited web for $50 per month.

I'll wait until BB10 comes to TMobile rather than double my monthly payment. That would be stupid.

The only other carrier I would switch to for BB10 is T-Mobile. AT&T and Verzion are ridiculous with their pricing and offer no unlimted data. I currently average 3-4GB per month on Sprint with my 9930. I stream tunein radio daily at work and in my truck as my main music source. Boston radio SUCKS and my truck doesn't have built in XM, so streaming is a must for me. Without unlimited, my bill would be sky high on top of their already high a$$ prices.

If Sprint acts stupid and doesn't launch BB10 when RIM announces it, T-Mobile here I come. I'm willing to lose my SERO plan for BB10. I know my bill will go up no matter where I go, but unlimited is VERY important to me.

If T-Mobile & Sprint both pass on branded devices, the world will be a crappy place and I'll have to really think about Windows Phone....ggggggrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!

Yes, I'd switch carrier in a heartbeat to get the phone that has features and capabilities that I want. In fact, I've already done it 3 times,..from Verizon to AT&T to T-Mobile back to AT&T. I currently do not have an LTE smartphone,...but you can rest assured that the next smartphone I buy will be an LTE phone, it a Blackberry or not.


Even tho I voted no, I have done it before. But now that I have landed on vzw and I am happy with their service... I will stay

Now that I'm with T-Mobile and they are refarming the spectrum to be able use AT&T phones I'd just buy an unlocked phone and stay with them. I may have to switch over to one of their new unlimited plans though when BB10 comes because I don't think they will be as frugal as older Berry phones and will have greater capabilities to use more data.

ATT and Verizon customers should never worry of switching anywhere.Guess! this poll is more for the other carrier customers.

Already did that once when I converted to BlackBerry and my carrier said they don't support BIS and offered me a Nokia (!!) saying it almost the same :D

I left Verizon after 8 years. The reason being, they stated they weren't going to get the Storm 3 9570, nor would they be getting the Torch 9800. They constantly tried to push android phones on me. I always said no, but they basically mocked me when I told them I wanted BlackBerry. I fell for the whole "Verizon is better than at&t bull when I first started with them, and then I tried it out for myself. I've never had better service, customer service, or a better selection of BlackBerry phones than what I've had with at&t.

AT&T is the only GSM in my area. I would rather tote a bag phone than go back to AT&T. RIM dupped us with the BB 9810. If they do it with BB10 I will have to sell myself to Android or Apple. As much as I love nice gadgets I need to be able to talk on the phone!

The 9810 is an awesome blackberry. I had trouble deciding if I'd get that or the 9900. Lol

Should have been the 9810 as the FS-1 battery is interchangable and extended ones are just as ample!

I left Bell a few years back to get the Bold 9000 from Rogers. Since then I have stuck with Rogers and "upgraded" to the Torch 9800 and as soon as the Bold 9900 came, I switched to it. But I would gladly leave Rogers and Bell forever if Wind/Koodoo/MobilCity get a BB10 device.

I did it back when I had the Nextel 7520 and I wanted the 8820 and couldn't get it on Sprint/Nextel, jumped to AT&T and have been there since, so I have to say since I have already done it, that I would do it again

In the UK we have mobile phone shops eg Phones4u or Car-phonewarehouse plus the carriershops/websites.
i got my Torch 9800 from Phones4u unlocked and a choice of 4carriers Orange,O2 Vodaphone and Tmob i went for Orange as that gave me the best signal where i work and at home.Contract finishes November i can put a different roll on monthly sim card in then,or sell it and get a new Blackberry 10 when they arrive in January hopefully.If one shop hasnt got one model or colour the other probably got it so then i just get the new one unlocked and choice of carrier again.
If the new BB 10 got 4G looks like ill be going Orange again.

I wouldn't switch carriers. AT&T seems to get the best phones on release dates anyway. Also a reliable source tells me that AT&T will get the first BB10 device.

Been with USCC for 14+ years. I really wanted a 9930, but they never carried it, so I ended up going to the dark side and getting and Android device (still with USCC) and keeping our family plan, which is still probably the best (cheapest) deal we've found. They have good coverage here, too, which helps. It would be much more expensive to go Verizon, and AT&T's coverage isn't the best in this area. I also carry a 9700 on T-Mo for development, but it has a low number of minutes (mostly have it for app testing, BBM, and data), so I couldn't see using it as my primary line.

I'm really hoping USCC gets BB10 devices. If not, I'll keep on with an Android device ont he family plan, and bump up to BB10 on T-Mo.

Fact is I'm on Telus. I have heard that Bell and Rogers absolutely suck, the discount brands have such lousy coverage I wouldn't even consider them, and frankly Telus hasn't been too bad. So I guess the short answer is that they would have to offer something significant to make me switch... I won't do it for a few bucks a month.

If I had, I'd have a bb torch by now, but I like TMobile prices :D Hopefully BB10 will be available with them :D

... Yes I'd absolutely switch to get the phone I want, in fact I recently ported three lines out of five from Sprint to AT&T in order to get the Torch 9810, I couldn't wait for RIM to release the BB 10 models, particularly given the multiple delays and the apparent lack of a slider on the upcoming OS. I also advised Sprint, as per their feedback request, that I would had kept such three lines with them had the Torch 9810 been part of their BB inventory. We are loving our 9810s.

Never have and never will. Just not that serious or worth it. That being said, RIM... no carrier exclusivity with any future BBs!

Hell no!!!, I'm buying phone out of contracts.

I'm in France, and if you do your maths, it's way cheaper (25$ for unlimited plan: text messages, data plan, nationwide calls, and 150 countries worldwide calls).

I think it would be an enormous mistake to do again something like that:
I had trouble to buy a 9810 because it's not on the same carrier, and I had to buy a used one, and sim unlock it to replace my 9800.
Even if I'm a BB user for more than 10 years now, I would consider switching RIM instead of the carrier!

One of the nice things about BlackBerry is I don't have to. They release most of their phones supporting all carriers. I have no doubt that the all touchscreen BB10 will work on Wind.

On the other hand, for Windows Phone I've got very limited choices (admittedly the Dell Venue Pro has an awesome keyboard, and the Lumia 710 a great screen), and it isn't any better for Android. It's a very rare BB that doesn't also get released with AWS support.

Forget those money-hungry carriers, especially in Canada. Most expensive and least valuable plans in the developed world. I would buy it outright, get my Future Shop insurance on it, unlock it, and bounce between the carriers, depending on who's giving the best deal...thank you number portability and BBM!

I did! Remember when At&t was taking foreverrrrrr to release the Bold 9900? I jumped ship to Verizon and picked up a 9930! Best decision EVER!! Verizon is 1000000x better than At&t :)

Since you cant port your number over, why not?

You forgot an option.

I'll buy the phone from another carrier, unlock it, and use it where-ever I damn well please :P

IF the phone I want isn't available with my carrier, I'll wait till a larger carrier with the same bands gets it, and purchase the phone outright and unlock it. In my case I am with Wind mobile. So when T mobile in the US gets it I will get it.

I switched to telus because of the obscene prices. Really? $99/month for 1GB and 200 minutes of airtime and NO Texting? I was over it then and moved to WINDmobile. Good riddence to telus. I didn't even fall for Koodo, because THEY are TELUS too, just under a different name. Lying bastards. Also, don't be fooled, Chat-R is Rogers, again under a different name. The r is obvious.

For me the device is what I am after. Living and working in Mexico means having to wait a long time for new releases, os7 devices only available since last couple of weeks. Travelling makes things worse though. I want my device to work on whatever carrier in whatever country. If I wouldn't be able to buy open devices I would need a different phone in every country I work. I guess the carriers won't like thos comment, but it is reality. Now I also pay a decent ammount to get an open device, why not take advantage of it?
Maybe take it as a tip. Sell open devices, those who really want them will gladly pay more. Maybe it doesn't have such an impact in the US but for me and other travellers it sure does.