I wrote a while back about buying a mobile phone I bought with a two mega-pixel camera with a good mp3 player. At the time I bought it, it wasn’t offered by any of the carriers and so I had to purchase it full price as an import. Purchasing as an unlocked import is great in that I can use the phone with any GSM carrier around the world, but because a carrier wasn’t selling the phone, the price wasn’t subsidized. I had to pay full price which was about $400.
About a week ago I switched carriers to T-Mobile and because I didn’t need a new phone I was given a $200 rebate. Not bad! Further digital needs assesment may reveal that you can Ebay your ipod mini along with that cheap digital camera –and your new imported phone may actually yield a profit. So, if you’re at the end of your mobile contract it’s definitely time to shop around and consider going geek.
Some mobile shops now sell imported phones for use with carriers they represent. The phones will be officially unsupported by the carrier, but if it’s a good shop, they can show you how to configure it. Configuration isn’t usually much more than going to the phone vendor’s web site and having a text message sent to your phone which automatically configures your phone for your new carrier.