Thursday, June 28, 2012

Galaxy Nexus price gouging by Canadian Cellular carriers

All of the following screenshots were taken on 2012/06/28.
As announced yesterday and visible in the Google play store (only if you are in the USA or use a proxy) the price for the Galaxy Nexus android smartphone has been cut again by Google to $349.00 USD, down from $399.00 since April of this year.



It seems though, that they do not want non-Americans to know, as they do not even have the Galaxy Nexus listed if you go to http://www.google.ca/nexus/ and click the phone tab, at least for me, nothing shows at all (I had to use an american proxy to create the above screenshot:)

This has actually changed since yesterday, as I was able to see it just fine then.. I was able to find a direct link that still worked and took the following screen shot, where Google claims it's currently not available in my country, and seems to detect this via IP address, as I saw this same screen whether logged in to Google, using incognito, on google.ca or on google.com:

So, I thought, lets check and see if the Canadian cellphone carriers have this phone available, and how much they would charge to buy it outright, and if one paid full price. would it be network unlocked?

Virgin Mobile Canada wants $649.99 to buy this phone without a contract. I did not contact them to find out whether when purchasing this phone outright would it be network unlocked, but based on the responses of the carriers that I did, I'd expect not.

Wind Mobile wants $599.99 for this phone non-contracted, I also did not contact them about network unlocking.

Bell Canada does not appear to even offer this phone without a contract, however it shows hardware cost of $649.95. The Bell Mobility store was the only one that did not have a rep walk up and ask what I was looking at, so I did not ask about network unlocking, however there were two other customers browsing in the store, and only one rep working.
(No direct link avalible, Bell canada's website is session based)

Fido wants $600, and the rep in the store said that purchasing outright would not entitle me to having the phone unlocked and referred me to a third party booth in another section of the mall if I wanted that done, quoting an estimated price of $50 for the unlocking.

Telus's website does not have the Galaxy Nexus advertised anywhere that I could find, however the store claimed to offer 2 models(?) but have neither in stock. She claimed that the price would be $649 for the phone outright, and that no carrier will network unlock a phone, even if you purchase it outright.

Lastly, I went to the Wireless wave store where they provided the Galaxy Nexus through Rogers, where they wanted 599.99 for the phone. The rep there said that it most definitely was not network unlocked and that she did not know the extra cost for sure but that it was somewhere between $50-$100 to have that done. After I mentioned the price for Americans from Google, she then recommended that I drive across the USA/Canada border and register a Post office box in New York state, as that would me much cheaper.


So... Any thoughts as to why going 3 miles and across a river increases the price of a phone handset by $250-$300 while simultaneously locking you to a specific carrier (none of which offer unlimited plans, except for wind mobile, and that only in down-town Ottawa and Toronto)

Also, for the record, at the time of writing, $349 USD equals $361.31 CAD according to Google.

Just another example of the the many horrible price gougings endured by Canadians at the hands of their cellular carriers..


*Edit 2012/07/09

As you may have heard, Apple is trying to get an injunction to block sales of this phone in the USA claiming once again patent infringement in that it copies the "look and feel" of their devices.. I would never buy an apple device.. let alone an IPHONE.. Why would you want a locked down device when you could have the full features of a Linux operating system at your fingertips.. the possibilities with android are endless whereas with apple they are limited to the app-store..
I challenge anyone to get a remote root terminal, FTP server, etc set up (for free) on an iPhone..

(Although it certainly is quite easy to break the security and steal all of a user's data on a macbook air if you have a access to it for a few minutes and a thumb-drive to copy stuff into)

Thankfully Samsung was able to at least temporarily block apples injunction against them..

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/06/samsung-galaxy-nexus-sales-ban-apple-_n_1655386.html

Will be interesting to see what happens with this case..