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.

[Thanks, Donald]

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Cellphone offerings influencing carrier selection?