A No Contract America = Less iPhones?
So T-Mobile is the first mobile carrier to end subsidies in the form that we know of them today. When they had announced their plans to do so a long time ago along with reduced prices, I knew that it was going to be a great transition to a model closer to the European market. T-Mobile has essentially admitted to being a dumb pipe, and they are selling themselves as the value option that gives you what you want: unlimited everything for cheap (well for the U.S. at least). However, I did think something else was going to happen. I thought that the iPhone's reign in the U.S. would end.
Why did I think that? Well, data suggests that in every country without the American-style subsidization and contract plans, Android phones are the most popular by significant margins (except for the UK which is kind of a hybrid of both with cheap options from places like Three, and more expensive plans at EE). I believe the reason why the iPhone sells so well in the U.S is because the difference between an iPhone 5 and an Android budget phone (think Galaxy Ace) is $200. Elsewhere, the difference is $450 with higher monthly rates. Whether you like it or not affordability in tech drives adoption, and Android options are significantly more affordable.
After T-Mobile's presentation today, I came away at a different opinion. This is because I saw how T-Mobile is going to sell the iPhone: $99 with $20 built into the plan. This is cheaper in every way to other carriers, especially on family plans. Yes, some people will notice the price difference now between an iPhone and a Galaxy Ace, and many will chose the Galaxy Ace, but I doubt many people will simply because either way, they will be getting a better deal, so why not get the iPhone?
Do you agree? What are your opinions on the American carrier situation, and what do you think will happen in the future? Do you think Apple is significantly prepared for an unsubsidized market in the U.S., where they make most of their money?