Costco Selling Contract-Free Phones?
I took a quick trip to Costco here in Gig Harbor yesterday. I walked near the mobile phone kiosk as it’s one of the first things you come across when entering Costco. What caught my eye was that they had cardboard cutout boxes of the Blackberry Pearl off to the side. They usually only have this for iPods and the like–i.e. they aren’t real boxes, but after you pay for it, they’ll obtain the item out of lockup for you.
For kicks, I looked at the sign to find out what it costs. What struck me was that in addition to listing the price with a 2 year agreement, they had an actual no contract price on the sign–$399. You could buy carrier-branded Blackberry Pearls for T-Mobile, AT&T, or Verizon contract-free for $399.
If I had a little more time, I would have asked the sales guy if they sold any other phones contract-free. Even if we’re only talking one phone right now, I consider this to be a step in the right direction. Now, if we can get some unbranded Nokia’s in Costco…
If prepaid or contract-free usage is increasing in the U.S., unlocked, unsubsidized phones are going to be in higher demand.