Originally Posted by Tabatha
Appears to be 'End of Life' for most mp3 players due to all the Smartphones. Now have to google how to get around carrier activation to be able to use as WIFI only device.
There are factory unlocked phones available. No need for carrier activation or even have a SIM card installed on those. Just so happens very few people in the US are willing to pay full price for smartphones when they're used to getting them "free" or "heavily discounted" on contract (which normally costs $1500 minimum over a 2-year period).
Originally Posted by tubemonkey
Get a Nexus 4. It's sold unlocked, so activation is irrelevant. Compared to other unlocked phones, it's a steal at less than half the price ($299 & $349). Unfortunately, it doesn't have a card slot and not much storage (8GB & 16GB). When Google get's around to doubling the storage for the same or lower prices, I'll consider getting a 32GB version to replace my Galaxy Player 4.
I got a factory unlocked Sony Xperia Acro S for $299 on sale at Buy.com. Performance isn't quite at the level of the Nexus 4 (it's comparable with the Galaxy Nexus) but it's water resistant and has a microSD card slot.
Seriously though, smartphone prices are artificially inflated because of carrier subsidy. Back when the iPhone was first released, Apple lowered the price on the 8GB model from $599 to $399 and dropped the 4GB model just a few months after release. Since they moved to a subsidy model, they've been able to inflate their phone prices. Nowadays, lowest off-contract price for a latest gen iPhone is $649 with the most expensive model at $849.
*sigh* If only T-Mobile had better coverage, I'd move to them. Really, carriers need to follow T-Mobile's lead and separate the phone price from the actual service. As it is, current service plan pricing on traditional carriers is built on a 2-year upgrade cycle so you kinda lose out if you don't upgrade your phone every 2 years.