Google CEO Eric Schmidt's recent claim that mobile phones should be free and subsidized by advertising touched a nerve with Fierce readers. Here are some of the responses so far:
Free phones? No, but they should be a separate purchase. In the article titled: Google: Mobile phones should be free; the argument is made that carriers should give the phones away. Of course, why not we're rich, right? NOT. Carriers are now subsidizing the phone purchase, which actually leads to less selection for the customer and less flexibility fewer offerings for the customer. The sales model I would suggest is what is found in many countries. That is, you buy the phone from any number of competitive retailers and then have that phone activated into the network of the carrier of choice. When you leave that carrier, you take your phone with you. -jchesky, Sprint
In this day and age of being bombarded with advertising in every fabric of your life could you stand to watch a 30 advertising spot before placing a call on your free cell phone? It may not start that way but try to access items on the web without advertising or why am I paying for cable when that is still providing advertising. Back in the day when over the air television was free the advertising was fine. But now I pay for it and get even more advertising.
By the way most handsets are free when you research and sign up for the right service. -All Advertised Out
Sure, ads will bring costs down. And one can imagine that there will be some free basic services that will be financed through ads. However, newspapers show that people are willing to pay for quality content. A clever and transparent mobile billing system is no hassle for most of the users and current, successful deployments of them show that people are more than willing to pay. -TelcoPay
Join in on the discussion here. -Brian