Sure, it's always nice when the hottest, most feature-packed mobile drops exclusively on the carrier you're already using, but what happens to T-Mobile
customers lusting after Verizon's LG Chocolate
? According to a research study conducted by The Yankee Group
, the types of phones offered by wireless providers is having a larger impact than ever before on buying decisions, and while only three percent of those surveyed stated that phone offerings was a primary factor in their carrier selection, over one-fourth of respondents said "more frequent handset upgrades would prevent them from jumping ship." In one particular case, a self-proclaimed "addict" switched providers three times in the span of 1.5 years, as he couldn't resist the urges felt from Audiovox's SMT 5600, JasJar's Qtek
9000, and the HTC Prophet
. While this particular individual may have paid merciless fees (nearly $2,000, actually) to break contracts and acquire the latest in cellphone technology, the researchers concluded that "network coverage, reliability and price" still ranked highest in determining carrier appeal -- but cellphone selection is apparently climbing the ranks, and fast.