Subsidizes phones is a business model from the past.
It's so heavily broken that I can't even understant
- Why (we) the people accepted this ? (Okay, GSM phones were VERY expensive in 1996...)
- Why did the banksters allowed the carriers to steal their favourite business (small consumer credits with huge interests) !?
Since past year, here in France, one carrier (and then... every other) bagan to sell "low cost" subscription. It's in fact the same service, without the cost of the "subsidized" phone. Minus 30€ a month (or more).
24 months later, you have 24*30=720€ to buy the unlocked phone of your choice.
For people who prefer to pay 25-30€ a month to pay their handset, banks are back in the dance, with credit offers to buy your unkocked phone on a 24 months credit.