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Re: T-Mobile Nexus 4 contract cancelled
While now this is a hypothetical situation, it was very real until about a week ago:
Google Play out of stock, phone going on the open market for $400-500 second hand -- so without warranty.
Buy from T-Mo under classic plan for $199 (sign up through a business sales rep (they will gladly sell individual lines) to save activation fee, possibly get a better price). 16 days later, cancel, pay $200 ETF. Own the phone for $199 + tax + 200 = ~ $420. That's a premium of about $25 over the cost from Play store, and you still have a warranty. You'll also have had to pay for service for that timeframe, but you also have that service to start with before switching it to another service provider (and you can port your number to T-mo at the start ,and away at the end).
In short, you pay a small premium over the Play store price, but get it much, much faster, and for less than buying it second-hand without warranty.