Posted by Aaron Stoddard on December 30, 1998 at 10:33:07:
In Reply to: BMW Cellular phone is somewhere around $800. Why? posted by Rick M. on December 29, 1998 at 23:49:47:
: I am somewhat puzzled why BMW charges that much for an all analog phone when companies are practically giving away their digital or analog+digital cellular phones for next to nothing? Is the BMW phone THAT much better than the other cellulars or is it just their way of screwing you once again in the parts department, where it is frequently done?
There are two issues here:
1> Yes, BMW needs to charge ripoff prices for parts.
2> Those "free" deals on phones are not free. The carrier subsidises the cost of the phone to get you to sign up for their service. When you install your BMW phone, you are paying the entire cost of the phone. The carrier gets their money back by making you sign a contract. What makes me laugh is that some of the newer PCS guys loudly trumpet "no contract" Guess what? The phone is locked to their system. So, even though is might be physically capable of working with a competitor, they lock it. They will not unlock each others phones, either. So, even though you dont have a contract on paper, you really have a "virtual" contract with them.