T-Mobile CEO Not Pleased With Unlocked Phones
First, T-Mobile CEO Robert Dotson discloses that over 30% of T-Mobile phones in NY are unlocked. Strangely, he also declares that this isn’t a good thing:
“If you look at just unfettered access in an open world, all of us would probably agree you have a pretty poor experience at the end of the day,” he said. “you realize that [technology] is most productive when it happens in an environment that has some stewardship and control in it.”
Whut? Isn’t that basically saying you don’t approve of what a large number of your customers are doing? It’s so easy to dismiss this statement as a knee-jerk reaction to profit-hostile open usage, but this could also be a troubling sign.
This may be an exaggeration—or a quote taken way out of context—but if you have a CEO openly admitting he doesn’t approve of unlocked phones, is that representative of the entire service provider industry in the US? Dotson may really believe that cellular usage free from lock-ins may lead to a worse customer experience—for reasons that are not immediately clear.
Worse, could this be some crazy talk generated by the apparent high-profile success of the iPhone? We all know how hard AT&T and Apple work to keep the phone locked onto one network. It seems that the “we are not amused” outlook towards contract-free setups is expanding beyond the iPhone.