I’ve been an iPhone user since it first came out a few years back. I even upgraded to the 3G version since I wanted to get some faster internet. But guess what? As of this week, I am officially iPhone free! I just sold my used iPhone on Craigslist for $250 and feel great about it.
Over the past year, I’ve been contemplating on and off whether or not I needed a cellphone. A few times I got close to pulling the plug but then changed my mind. I really don’t like the idea of constantly having a phone on me. Heck, I even saw two people run into each other on the sidewalk yesterday because they were both walking and texting. Have we really gotten this bad?
1. I Have A Land Line
Can you believe it? It’s 2009 and the main reason I ditched my iPhone is because I have a land line. I spend the majority of my time talking on the phone at home, especially when it comes to conference calls. Best of all, I only pay for the limited service which comes in around 8 bucks a month.
Now that I use Google voice, I can still dial out to anywhere in the US without paying long distance fees. Best of all, when people call my Google voice number it automatically rings on my land line. I also installed Gizmo5 on my laptop, which allows me to have my phone up on my desktop when I’m at the coffee shop.
2. I Didn’t Use It Enough
This goes along with having a land line. Over the past few months, I’ve been monitoring my iPhone usage on the AT&T website. For the month of September, I used a whopping 51 out of 450 anytime minutes. And the only reason I used that many minutes is because I was lazy and didn’t take the time to call the person using Google voice.
I also used 51 of my 1,500 text messages. Funny thing is, almost all of them took place sitting at my desk. I’ve now got into the habit of using Google voice for my texting and I’ve actually grown to like it a lot more than typical texting.
3. I Wasn’t Much Of An Application User
It’s true that there are tons of cool applications available for the iPhone. However, of the 85,000 or so available I had about 6 installed on my phone. I really wasn’t a fun of the stupid applications you always see on the commercials. Sure it’s nice to be able to look up a restaurant and see it’s rating. But it’s even better when you take a walk and randomly pick a place to eat.
The same goes for directions. I’ve decided it’s time to get back into the habit of using a paper map to find directions to where I’m going. It sure beats relying on your phone, only to have the battery die before you found your destination.
3. I Was Sick Of The Monthly Bills
Even if you go with the cheapest iPhone plan available, it’s still going to come in over 70 bucks a month. That does include limited data, but I already pay for internet in the form of DSL. The rest of the bill goes to the voice plan that I hardly ever used.
I’ve gotten much more efficient when it comes to email that I no longer feel the need to constantly be able to check it. I actually feel more relieved when I leave the house now because it actually means I get a break from the web.
4. I Bought A Tracfone
You read the right. I’ve upgraded from an iPhone to a Tracfone. Look how badass my new Motorola phone is. Not only is it lighter than my old iPhone, but it’s smaller. It even traveled forward in time from 1997. Best of all, it even has the one application I constantly used on my iPhone: a calculator.
I did a ton of research before canceling my iPhone plan because I wanted to keep the phone number just in case people still call it. So I knew that getting a prepaid cell phone was my best option. When I went to the store I wasn’t sure which phone I was going to get but I ended up with the Tracfone. The main reason being that I only need to add 20 bucks every three months to keep the phone active. That comes out at roughly $6.67 a month for my cell phone.
I also opted for one of the phones that doubles your minutes for life. Even better, I also managed to find a promo code online for some extra minutes and an extra month worth of service. I now have over 280 minutes and don’t have to add any until April of next year. Those minutes will easily cover the call and text messages I make while not at home. It will mainly be used for emergencies or when I really need to get in touch with someone.
Porting my number was really simple. I just went on to Tracfone’s website and started the port process. They automatically canceled my AT&T account once the port came over to this phone.
5. I Hated The Service
It’s no secret that AT&T has some issues when it comes to their services. I would constantly get calls that would drop, even when standing in downtown Austin. My internet was also hit or miss in terms of speed. What I disliked even more was using the account manager to access my account. Funny thing is, here’s what I saw when I tried to login just before cancelling my account:
It wasn’t the only time I’ve had issues trying to access my account. It sure feels good knowing I no longer have a contract with them and I don’t have to log in anytime soon to manage my account. Now I just need to move so I can get cable internet instead of the DSL…
6. Google Voice
I’ve already mentioned Google voice a handful of times in this post. It was the one thing that finally made it possible for me to say screw the cell phone. Prior to Google voice, I used Skype but it still lacked some features that I couldn’t do without.
Now that I can easily make calls, forward them to my various phones, and send free SMS messages, I no longer have any issues.
It was awesome when I took a trip home to Wisconsin and simple changed my Google voice settings to forward to my parents land line. It’s amazing how easy it is to bring your phone number with you where ever you go. Plus it made having a land line feasible again, since you can bring the number with you when you are not at home.
We’ll See How It Goes
I plan on doing a followup post a month or two down the road. I’ll summarize how the transition went from an iPhone to a prepaid cell phone/land line combo. I really thing it is going to go just fine without any problems but we will see.