This is an interesting topic to get a handle on, and I've been trying to read as much as I can.
I was thinking going unlocked for my next phone (ideally an upgrade to my Rogers Lumia 1020). I can see the point of the financing schemes and easy upgrades, etc., but from what I understand about Windows 10 there would be issues to being tied to the policies of telecom carriers.
Windows 10 Mobile, from what I understand, has the same characteristic as full Windows 10-- regular updates, not just to the many features that are now Store apps, but several upgrades to core features every year. Windows 10 is a service, not a fixed operating system. Given the delays the carriers often imposed, I can see the logic of being freed from carrier terms. This makes me think that even if Rogers offered the new Lumias, I would be hesitant to jump on board.
I would continue to be a happy Rogers customer if they provided good and well-priced voice and data services for my unlocked Lumia (probably the 950XL, once I check them out in person).
Question - Suppose you buy an unlocked phone at Microsoft.ca, and then, as you need a carrier, add it to your Rogers plan. Are you then still beholden on Rogers for updates, or will they seamlessly get pushed by Microsoft?
My impression has been that previous Microsoft unlocked phones (I guess more common in Europe) get updated through Microsoft. It has been strange to read recent comments about lack of carrier availability for the new Lumias, when I've read complaints over the years about unjustified long delays in updates for Lumia phones.
Also, for PCs at least, Microsoft has taken over from PC manufacturers the main system updating functions (read that somewhere on thurrott.com). That's been my understanding of a key change in Windows, that it's a service which is now primarily supported directly through Microsoft and not as much through third parties.
Not carrying the 950s will be enough for me to move the whole family (6 of us on a shared plan) away from Rogers.
We have 1 x 920 and 2 x 1020 ready for renewal and of the other 3 phones only 1 is less than a year old so there is not much left due on those.
I know what you mean. i considered going Android when the news broke about the 950 unavailability with Canadian carriers. So yesterday I went to a local Rogers and played on an android phone. I cant do it. No chance Ill go to anything else. So I think Ill get myself a Lumia 930 unlocked somewhere and save up money for the next Windows Phone that Panos will design.
For those who go for the unlocked phones, is the current best option to go for the "No Tab" option on the Share Everything plan? No Tab is $20 off the monthly bill for paying for the phone in full at a Microsoft store. If I plan to use it for more than a couple of years (and the Lumias are built like tanks), that seems reasonable. The dual SIM models that I could travel with, etc., and also move entirely to a different carrier because they're unlocked, seem like good options to consider.
Financing is an issue. From what I understand Apple is offering both unlocked iPhones and their own financing plans, and it would be a good idea if Microsoft did something similar.
From what I understand, the 950 and 950XL unlocked will work with all Canadian carriers. I never liked the idea of the Canadian carriers having different models, since some day I may have been forced into a choice I wouldn't like with my carrier.
With my Lumia 1020 I ended up installing updates through the Developer Preview program. There's no way I'm giving up that flexibility to be tied to a carrier's update schedule.
I too love the Windows interface, live tiles etc, even on my old windows phone. But the $1000 price tag for the flagship meant I would have to wait. This got me thinking...with the rest of the world on Android, and a billion or so apps out there, surely they must have an app, for android pohnes, that provided a windows like interface - They of course do.
Check out apps like WP Launcher ( Launcher 8):
Overview : https://youtu.be/pMVzHT7xvpc
There mght even be better implementations and / or Windows 10 launcher apps - lots to choose from.
For the apps on Windows Mobile, the situation will likely change. Microsoft is almost ready to deliver the tools that can port Android and iOS apps over to Windows 10 Mobile. In the wild, from what I've read, some have already managed to sideload Android apps onto Windows 10 Mobile, which includes a subsystem to support many Android functions.
The other rumour is that the recent legal settlement between Microsoft and Google will lead the way to Google apps appearing in the universal app format. That also means they'll work with Continuum. For those that can't afford an additional computing device other than a smartphone, being able connect a Lumia 950 to a keyboard and monitor (even entirely wirelessly) is an interesting option. In Europe, I heard they're even bundling the Display Dock that supports this with some purchases of a 950 model. The Lumias can continue to work independently while Continuum is being used, and they can also double as trackpads.
The lack of broad carrier compatibility and almost non-existent carrier promotion ensure that the 950 and 950 XL will not be big sellers. This is disappointing for the existing customers that enjoy the platform; it further reduces the relevance of the Universal Windows Platform, and it means that even new features like Continuum will have minimal reach. Continuum could be attractive to mobile workers and road warriors, but it isn't going to do a thing for anyone who wants or needs to use Verizon's network.
And fundamentally, it's disappointing because we've seen this situation before. Windows Phone has struggled from day one with poor carrier availability and promotion, combined with a lack of real continuity: customers who take an interest in the platform and are now 18 or 24 months into their contracts have been left with nowhere to go but Android or iPhone before. We'd hoped that Windows 10 and Microsoft's revised phone strategy might have done something about this. It appears that it hasn't.