AT&T Suing Traffickers Of Previously Locked Mobile Phones
Did you know that when you buy a prepaid phone from a store that it is likely subsidized? I saw a presentation earlier this week that broke down the costs of one of those $20 phones you buy from Walmart or even the $10 refurbished phones that you can buy from AT&T. While I can’t divulge exact numbers, I can say those phones are being sold at a loss, assuming they’ll more than make it up when you sign up for prepaid service.
It’s no surprise, then, when someone buys these phones en-masse, unlocks them, and then resells them at a profit. To a carrier like AT&T, that is essentially lost revenue. That’s why AT&T is suing Wireless Exclusive, L.L.C., though I’m not sure why they are choosing trademark infringement as the law they are suing under.Look, folks, it comes down to one simple fact: people want mobile phones and the traditional channels aren’t providing them at a reasonable cost. I suspect the minute cheap, unlocked, non-subsidized phones start showing up through the traditional sales channels, this”trafficking” problem will go away.
Disclaimer: I’m sure Nokia has an opinion on this, but the preceding was my own thoughts.