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‘Free Cell Phones’ – Are they really free?

There are number of advertisements campaigns in today’s cell phone industry carry this jargon – ‘Free cell phones’.

While the term seem to be amusing the customers, we wanted ti throw some light on the hidden secret behind this. Before that, ask these questions to yourself.

  • Why would a company offer free cell phones?
  • What is the tangible benefit for them?
  • Why any one in the world invest money on hardware cell phones and offer it for free?
Most of these questions do not give a vivid picture to consumers. Hence let’s dig down deep to understand the concept and hype around free cell phones.

free-cell-phones

First of all one has to understand that there is nothing free in the world. If there is someone trying to sell you a product for free, either it can be a sample, in which case the company will expect your feedback as a return or it can be an upsell opportunity. When we say upsell, it refers to the products and services that are bundled around this.
Now let us see which companies offer  cell phones that are named as free in the market.
  • LG
  • Samsung
  • Nexus
  • Cricket mobile
  • And even iPhone…!
Free cell phones = No investment phones:
Free cell phones are typically no investment phones. A user do not necessarily have to invest upfront fee to buy the phone. This means the user can walk into the store and pick up the cell phone and drive home with no cost involved to it. This is really a great option especially for users who do not even have any base money that they can invest in buying a cell phone.
Bundled services with free cell phones:
Typically in all cases the free cell phones comes with a contract and a service time. To see a reality scenario, iPhone 3GS is being offered free to customers, provided they sign up for a 2 year contract with the carrier. What this means is that the cell phone user have to pay a monthly service fee and they do not have any other option.
iPhone 3 GS and Apple’s latest announcement:
Right from the launch of iPhone, this little gadget is being carried over by hundreds of millions of users all over the world. Being the costly phone in the market, it has given a prestigious feel around the product.
In the recent iPhone Live event, Apple announced that it will offer its 3GS model for free. Of course this comes with a contract of 2 years with the service providers.
Conclusion:
Users should not get confused on the usage of the term ‘Free cell phones’. It always means that the phone is offered free but there is a stipulated time frame of contract that the user has to sign up.

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