Perhaps you should actually research US plans before you criticize. I use T-Mobile, and purchased an unlocked Note 2. They sent me a sim card for free. I pay them 50 a month for unlimited talk and text, with NO data plan (I use wifi). I could have gotten the phone on contract and paid less, or I could make make my existing plan cheaper by getting limited minutes or text. I could go prepay. I could choose a whole other company if I want. The only real difference between the US and European markets is that in the US, you can choose to let a cell phone company screw you over in exchange for a lower up front hardware price. Sounds pretty free to me.