1. Paisley's Avatar
    Just curiously interested in how carriers end up with some phones, not others, etc. Indeed I am with Sprint, so we usually have the worst offerings, and now i'm curious about the entire process as well as why Sprint gets the basics.

    Do carriers manufactuer for example, one gsm phones and don't have to alter it for the different carriers and so making a cdma one is an additional process for them making it not profitable?

    Let's take the Samsung Alpha for example. It's a GSM phone. There's no cdma version. Would the manu just not make enough profile by creating a cdma version? is it very expensive to create that version? Is the profilt margin that low on a phone?

    Why do att/tmobile phones work on 1 or the other carrier but sprint and cdma phones are not interchangable?

    Any other reasons that some carriers get certain phones and not others (*besides carrier exclusivity*)? Are there minimum purchases or something? Surely the carrier themselves would love to have an option for all the variants, what is it that prevents them from getting them?

    Thanks.
    10-17-2014 10:31 AM
  2. SpookDroid's Avatar
    You pretty much have the right idea, but the logistics of it are so much more complicated.

    It can be carrier deals with the manufacturers, it can be that the carrier will refuse to carry the phones (they do pay for them, after all), or that the manufacturer just doesn't see a profit when projecting their sales, based on history, for a specific carrier.

    Just like with video formats, all carriers use different radio technologies, although GSM/LTE did try to unify this, which is why most GSM phones are more compatible with other carriers, but even then, you have to watch out for the supported frequencies (they might all speak the same language, but they're speaking on different channels, and if your phone doesn't support that channel, you just won't be able to use it). More radios means more hardware, and more hardware means more money. Also, CDMA is not compatible with GSM, and only a handful of carriers still rely on CDMA, which is why these phones are less compatible unless they include GSM radios for travel and roaming. As you can imagine, this makes them harder to build and with a bigger investment.
    10-17-2014 10:45 AM
  3. Bigballer's Avatar
    My one recommendation: Never buy a carrier branded phone.

    Nexus 5 is with the big 3, nexus 6 is with the big 4.

    When the next android version comes out, you'll understand why.

    Better yet, let's see which phones get lollipop and how fast.....
    10-17-2014 12:02 PM
  4. SpookDroid's Avatar
    To be fair, update cycles have been getting better and better. Sure, nothing will beat Nexus devices on getting updates from Google, but if you take a look at the dev response after the Lollipop unveiling, they're all showing their update roadmaps for new and current devices, at least from the previous year.
    10-17-2014 12:38 PM
  5. Paisley's Avatar
    You pretty much have the right idea, but the logistics of it are so much more complicated.

    It can be carrier deals with the manufacturers, it can be that the carrier will refuse to carry the phones (they do pay for them, after all), or that the manufacturer just doesn't see a profit when projecting their sales, based on history, for a specific carrier.

    Just like with video formats, all carriers use different radio technologies, although GSM/LTE did try to unify this, which is why most GSM phones are more compatible with other carriers, but even then, you have to watch out for the supported frequencies (they might all speak the same language, but they're speaking on different channels, and if your phone doesn't support that channel, you just won't be able to use it). More radios means more hardware, and more hardware means more money. Also, CDMA is not compatible with GSM, and only a handful of carriers still rely on CDMA, which is why these phones are less compatible unless they include GSM radios for travel and roaming. As you can imagine, this makes them harder to build and with a bigger investment.
    Thanks! So i see what you're saying about Vzn and Sprint not being compatible due to difference frequencies. Curious, does gsm technology generally all share the same frequencies as each other so have less problem compatibility wise? or did the gsm carriers purposely make sure they used similar frequencies.

    and re: deals, other than exclusive deals there are financial deals btwn carrier and phone apart from volume discount? In what way? or is it more like a bidding thing. Vzn says to Samsung, we'll give you X dollars per (phone Y) and you can't sell it to anyone else for less, in which case Sprint would be out because they would not be able to afford such a price (something like that?)

    or is also that Sprint is so cheap/broke to that as well as only being able to afford the highest volume phones. And i bet people are more likely to choose btwn Sprint and Tmo for a reason that is more important than a phone choice so it's not like Sprint is forced to invest in getting other phones.

    My one recommendation: Never buy a carrier branded phone.

    Nexus 5 is with the big 3, nexus 6 is with the big 4.

    When the next android version comes out, you'll understand why.

    Better yet, let's see which phones get lollipop and how fast.....
    I have a moto X, so i already get my updates quickly and have a lighter UI phone, so i definitely see the advantages, but pocketability is a much higher priority to me than 4.4 vs. 5.0, etc. : )., so basically, whoever has the best form factor with flagship internals, is what i want. I do look forward to 5.0 because I have so many utilities to make my phone more efficient that if 5.0 solves any of the issues i have to correct i'll be pleased, but i can live with bloatware and i can live with annoying things that need utilities to correct, but i'll do everything i can to avoid a big phone. although i've also heard sprint has less bloatware than others', so maybe i just don't have experience with a lot of bloatware. For my almost stock android i've already had to replace almost every basic app on my mostly stock phone just for ergonomics, usibility and efficiency so i already have to deal with plenty of annoying glitches that come up because of using everyone else's apps but stock.
    10-17-2014 01:18 PM
  6. Bigballer's Avatar


    I have a moto X, so i already get my updates quickly and have a lighter UI phone, so i definitely see the advantages, but pocketability is a much higher priority to me than 4.4 vs. 5.0, etc. : )., so basically, whoever has the best form factor with flagship internals, is what i want. I do look forward to 5.0 because I have so many utilities to make my phone more efficient that if 5.0 solves any of the issues i have to correct i'll be pleased, but i can live with bloatware and i can live with annoying things that need utilities to correct, but i'll do everything i can to avoid a big phone. although i've also heard sprint has less bloatware than others', so maybe i just don't have experience with a lot of bloatware. I've actually had to replace almost every basic app on my mostly stock phone just for ergonomics, usibility and efficiency.
    Try the ATT branded moto X. That thing is hideous with its bloatware infiltration.
    10-17-2014 01:35 PM
  7. SpookDroid's Avatar
    OK, let's see if I can clarify things as best as I can hehe.
    1)GSM tried to make things compatible, but if all carriers used the same frequencies, we'd have a congestion of signals and that wouldn't be good for anyone. So, GSM is further split up into different channels, or frequencies, that a phone can use to send/receive signals from the carrier. US carriers agreed on certain frequencies that are compatible with a lot of Euro carriers, but you might run into issues if you go into Asia or some Eurasia countries. LTE has a similar issue, where US 'channels' are not the same as a lot of European ones. But manufacturers try to bundle as many supported frequencies as they can into their phones so you can travel the world with your phone and be able to use it anywhere else, but not all of them, so you always need to check the specs of your phone VS the carrier/country you want to use it in. But in general, there are more GSM carriers around the world than CDMA now.

    2) This one is tough. Sometimes it's a marketing agreement, sometimes it's that the carrier pays the manufacturer for a certain phone, sometimes it's a discounted price to the carrier, sometimes it's just that the manufacturer's VP of sales lost a drunken bet to the VP of operations from a certain carrier. That's why you see more exclusives on the bigger carriers as they have more connections and have more cash to spend on such deals. And that's why you may see special plans for some devices (like exclusive iPhone plans with different pricing and/or features).
    10-17-2014 01:56 PM
  8. Paisley's Avatar
    Try the ATT branded moto X. That thing is hideous with its bloatware infiltration.
    Heard about that. yikes. That would **** me off. . I guess in some ways i'm lucky.

    OK, let's see if I can clarify things as best as I can hehe.
    1)GSM tried to make things compatible, but if all carriers used the same frequencies, we'd have a congestion of signals and that wouldn't be good for anyone. So, GSM is further split up into different channels, or frequencies, that a phone can use to send/receive signals from the carrier. US carriers agreed on certain frequencies that are compatible with a lot of Euro carriers, but you might run into issues if you go into Asia or some Eurasia countries. LTE has a similar issue, where US 'channels' are not the same as a lot of European ones. But manufacturers try to bundle as many supported frequencies as they can into their phones so you can travel the world with your phone and be able to use it anywhere else, but not all of them, so you always need to check the specs of your phone VS the carrier/country you want to use it in. But in general, there are more GSM carriers around the world than CDMA now.
    Thank you so much. : )

    2) This one is tough. Sometimes it's a marketing agreement, sometimes it's that the carrier pays the manufacturer for a certain phone, sometimes it's a discounted price to the carrier, sometimes it's just that the manufacturer's VP of sales lost a drunken bet to the VP of operations from a certain carrier. That's why you see more exclusives on the bigger carriers as they have more connections and have more cash to spend on such deals. And that's why you may see special plans for some devices (like exclusive iPhone plans with different pricing and/or features).
    Thanks! So i'm thinking in the Vzn/Sprint thing, Vzn must just say, this is what we'll pay for a certain cdma, knowing Sprint can't afford to. Like the minis, the moto x, etc, etc, etc (etc, etc, etc, etc) lol
    10-17-2014 02:12 PM
  9. stackberry369's Avatar
    Just curiously interested in how carriers end up with some phones, not others, etc. Indeed I am with Sprint, so we usually have the worst offerings, and now i'm curious about the entire process as well as why Sprint gets the basics.

    Do carriers manufactuer for example, one gsm phones and don't have to alter it for the different carriers and so making a cdma one is an additional process for them making it not profitable?

    Let's take the Samsung Alpha for example. It's a GSM phone. There's no cdma version. Would the manu just not make enough profile by creating a cdma version? is it very expensive to create that version? Is the profilt margin that low on a phone?

    Why do att/tmobile phones work on 1 or the other carrier but sprint and cdma phones are not interchangable?

    Any other reasons that some carriers get certain phones and not others (*besides carrier exclusivity*)? Are there minimum purchases or something? Surely the carrier themselves would love to have an option for all the variants, what is it that prevents them from getting them?

    Thanks.
    The crystal phone is a sprint exclusive

    Posted via the Galaxy Note 4
    10-17-2014 04:29 PM
  10. Paisley's Avatar
    The crystal phone is a sprint exclusive

    Posted via the Galaxy Note 4
    It is indeed.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    10-17-2014 07:33 PM

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