While perusing the Intarwebs, I found this awesome article on news.com regarding how cell phone manufacturers such as Nokia and Motorola are shifting their strategies in the United States. In the US, we typically by a handset from our provider (Verizon, Cingular, whoever) that has been subsidized. That is, the raw cost of the phone is $499 or so, but if you sign up with a contract with Verizon they give you the phone for $50 or so.
Sounds great, but then they have you in a service agreement (by the balls is how I put it) and your bound to stay with them almost no matter what.
The new business model being pursued by handset makers is to offer phones directly to consumers. So consumers have a choice in buying an ‘unlocked’ phone and can come and go as they please – just the way it is in Europe, etc.
I hope this model goes well!