What's More Important: Phone Or Provider?

As part of the Apple-Samsung legal dispute, Apple has revealed a survey which it undertook in January 2011 before the iPhone appeared on Verizon. It revealed that 48 per cent of people would choose Android over iPhone if it allowed them to stay with their carrier.

Now, that number may or may not be accurate, but let's not worry too much. Instead, we want to know: how important is phone choice compared to carrier for you? And what decision would you make if the phone you wanted wasn't on your carrier of choice? [Verge]


    Provider. Who wants a phone that can't browse the web for no fault of it's own.

      Exactly, which is why i am with Telstra. My phone does what i want it to, when i want it to.

    Well, living in Tasmania, Australia, I don't really have much choice of provider. The only realistic choice is Telstra, as other carriers cannot provide anywhere near enough coverage in Tasmania.
    In saying that, I think phone choice is very important, I decided it was worth the wait to get the HTC One XL from Telstra, and I think it was the right choice, loving the phone.

    I think initially the phone is the most important choice, and people don't seem to make logical decisions whilst purchasing phones, they just seem to go with trends rather than listing what you need your phone to do, and then buying the correct phone accordingly.

      I thankfully live in Hobart, and with the work Optus has done on their network its been more than fine for me. But Telstra are necessary anywhere outside the city, and that sucks.

      So perhaps provider vs phone depends largely on where you live

      @Nick - I'm curious as to what part of Tassie you're in; as in my experience so far Optus offer reasonable coverage in most urban areas. They're certainly behind Telstra's coverage, but still perfectly acceptable.

      Vodafone on the other hand, are atrocious - I've struggled for reception with them even throughout Launceston on no shortage of occasions.

        i too agree that optus have come huge strides in the last few years. i switched to optus and im regional tas on the east coast. they have a couple of spots with less reception-- but the majority of its coverage is fine. and i now have 16 dollar phone bills per month as im with live connected now.

      I live in the Tamar Valley and yeah you're either with Telstra or you're stuffed! There's so many black spots on Optus, and just no Vodafone at all.

      Phone is important though. That's why I go prepaid. Pick whatever phone you like.

      Don't feel left out mate I'm in Sydney and Telstra is the only acceptable choice for coverage here as well.

    Network, no question.. just look at the ruckus that Vodafail created!
    Not even the iPhone Death Grip created that much noise

    After being stuck on my vodafone plan for far too long... I'll be rolling Telstra next time around.


    I never got into the carrier subsidized thingo. I’ve always bought a phone outright and sourced a sim-only plan.

    Carrier is far more important to me. I'll choose a handset that suits my needs from whatever they have available, or wait until they have something I want before signing a new contract, or just buy one on eBay and go month-to-month. After all, the OS is where most of the action is at these days, not the hardware itself, and they all carry iOS, Android and WinPhone handsets.

    I'll keep my Lumia800 until I can buy a new phone that is smaller than it is, has just as good a screen and offers more than 64Gb of storage (8Gb internal + 64Gb microSD would be fine). I'd prefer to stick with WinPhone, as I like the MS ecosystem, but I'd go for the right Android device if it came along (Samsung's flexible screen would do it). iTunes makes iPhone a no-go for me.

    i refuse to use Telstra so for me it is usually the phone... if the provider doesnt have the phone i want i will buy it outright or get one through another provider and unlock it

      Why do you refuse to use Telstra?

        While many people can get along just fine with Telstra, but they really do have terrible customer service, when something goes wrong in any of their departments, its a nightmare for the consumer to sort out. I've been burned before and now I too, refuse to use Telstra.

    i refuse to use Telstra so for me it is usually the phone... if the provider doesnt have the phone i want i will buy it outright or get one through another provider and unlock it

    Last year i made the mistake of signing up with Vodafone so i could get my hands on a Nexus S. Loved the phone, the service was so bad.... And then i found out the the Nexus S (which i got from Vodafone) wasn't even compatible with their new 850mhz network. Now, i bought a Galaxy Nexus outright, connected to AmaySim. (Optus) No more contracts for me , happy days :)

    Carrier. With the recent reduction in subsidies, the decisions are becoming distinct - so my next phone will likely be bought outright, and I'll port the number to a BYO Telstra plan...


    Having lived out of town for most of my life, I'd say provider is more important. I had to go with Telstra as no other network would work at any of the places I lived before I moved right into town. The phone itself is important, but what's the point of buying the phone you absolutely have to have, when it will only work in town? When I was looking at new phones while still living out of town, if I saw one I liked, I would make sure it would work on Telstra Next G before I bought it.

    Now I have an iPhone 4S, still with Telstra, and it's the best solution for me - my parents still live out of town so when I go to visit them I still have coverage.

    I love boost(optus)$40 a month prepaid gets me unlimited calls and texts to any phone and network,2gb data and unlimited social(facebook,twitter,etc)service is just fine in kingaroy(regional area).wouldn't change networks for anything.

      Try Red Bull mobile for 39$ month to month you get everything that you mentioned but with 4gb data which is heaps worth it!
      They use the optus network aswell

    Both. The hardware needs to support LTE, so does the network.

    The provider provides the experience for the phone... The big phone companies should stop licensing to under-performing providers, such as v.......

    I live in sydney CBD and work in the east i have a 4s on Optus and a 4 on Telstra. The iPhone 4 shreds my 4s and both have full bars so is say carrier is more important imo

    Phone, because no matter what I have to go with Telstra anyway :P Anything else and I'll have a networkless brick.

      Brik, sorry to pick you out of the bunch, but a lot of answers here are like yours and don't make sense. Statements along the lines of "zomg Tesltra suck, and voda will be the death of me I would never choose any network other than optus. So my answer is the phone - the phoneset is the most important thing to me" What?? you people aren't making sense!

      Brik, obviously carrier is the most important thing to you. You have no choice, the other carriers don't have coverage around you, so not being tied to optus or vodaphone is of the upmost importance to you.

    I am with virgin, never had a coverage problem and am on the sunshine coast Qld , same network optus I believe but phones and plans are much better priced.

    If all providers had equal coverage and prices then phone. Otherwise no. What a bias/flawed survey.

    Obviously phone, cant do much with one from the 1970's. Wheres my prize?

    Provider. Luckily Telstra has the SGSIII. I've never had to use customer servicein my life, so the poor customer sevice doesn't stop me using it. (Next G and 4G help a lot too. Next G is faster than standard 3g, although not as fast as Telstra claims)

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