Which do you pick first: Carrier or phone?

When you buy a cell phone, do you choose the carrier or the phone first? Let CNET know in our poll on the Dialed In blog.

Buying a cell phone involves a lot of choices. Not only do you have to select the phone, but you also have to pick a carrier. For those new to cell phones, I usually advise buyers to think first about the carrier--it's important to find a plan you can afford and go with a wireless provider that offers good service in your area--though I know some consumers prefer to choose the phone first.

That can even be true for people who have been with a carrier for a few years. Just throw a hot handset into the equation and some users will switch in a heartbeat, even if it means paying an early-termination fee. I first saw it happen in large numbers when then Cingular Wireless got the Motorola Razr V3. And, of course, the iPhone caused mass defection as well.

So I ask you, dear readers, which buying process do you follow? Do you go with the carrier first or do you consider the handset choice to be more important? Let me know in the poll.

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