6 Reasons Why I Ditched My iPhone

goodbye-iphone


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

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:

att-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

google-voiceI’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.

36 thoughts on “6 Reasons Why I Ditched My iPhone

  1. Adam Pieniazek

    Congrats on being free from AT&T!

    Personally, I’m contemplating either buying the new Motorola Droid (especially if I can get a data only plan, hardly ever actually use voice and have Skype/Google Voice) or just dropping cell service completely and using Number Garage to route calls to my cell # to Google Voice or Skype.

    Reply
    1. Justin Wright Post author

      Yeah it feels nice to be free! A data only plan is something I’ve been looking at but there isn’t much out there right now. But I think ditching the contract completely will be fine with me. We’ll see how it goes.

      Reply
  2. Russ Goerend

    These are 6 reasons why you ditched your smartphone. Your smartphone just happened to be an iPhone.

    It’s too bad, because there are plenty of reasons to ditch the iPhone. This article just doesn’t address them.

    Reply
  3. Doug

    I’ve got that Tracfone, too, but like Adam I was looking into Android phones.

    I just signed up for Google Voice last week, but I didn’t know about Gizmo5, too, thanks for sharing that. Nice that both work just fine in Linux, too.

    I’m maybe leaning toward getting an android tablet since I don’t think the cell phone companies allow data-only anyway, I can read from paper maps just fine, and I can live without twitter updates while on the road. It’ll just be like a mini-laptop I can carry with me to meetings and so forth, where I’m usually around a wireless connection.

    Reply
    1. Justin Wright Post author

      Yeah Gizmo works great for receiving Google voice calls right on your computer. I’m thinking about getting a Bluetooth headset (even though I HATE them) that connects to my MacBook and works with Gizmo. That would make talking at home or on the road much easier as long as I have a network connection.

      Reply
  4. Carla

    AT&T is the only reason why I’m sticking to the Blackberry and I use it constantly. I do lust after a iPhone, but I don’t want to end up stuck in a two year contract with AT&T.

    I do have a landline (Comcast Digital Phone) and I use it a lot too. I guess I need both!

    Reply
  5. Marketing Ideas

    Is Google Voice the new overpaid smartphone killer, like the mobile phone was to the land line? I also use Google voice. I haven’t used it to the extent that you have but $100+ a month for a smart phone and service is ridiculous. I’d love to explore this option. Look forward to your follow up and what you have learned in retrospect.

    Reply
  6. Wolfgang muller

    WiFi access is another service offered by a few prepaid Internet providers. With prepaid WiFi, you can use some of your minutes surfing wirelessly from select WiFi hotspots. Generally, you pay more per minute for this service.

    Reply
  7. Doctor TracFone

    Justin;

    HILARIOUS post. Really funny stuff. And true. I’ll be posting a link to it from the blog.

    People are wising up to the fact that signing a contract to use a cell phone is CRAZY.

    I never had an iPhone but DO have an iPod Touch. Gank me some wifi and I’m rockin’ the Internet…

    It’s the perfect complement to a TracFone, btw. No bills FTW!

    Reply
  8. Stephanie

    Well, your plan sounds brilliant, but I don’t think it would work for me. My cell phone is like my land line. Everyone calls me on my cell and half the time I’m not really at home. I’m usually at work or out doing something so Google voice would not work for me.

    Anyway, I love your pictures. I am currently looking to buy a digital camera and was wondering what kind of camera you used to take your pictures.

    Thanks

    Reply
  9. Jim Gaudet

    I just love Google Voice. Free SMS has been the best option for me. But, I will still be buying an iPhone in December when CR gets 3G.

    The phone bills here are so cheap that it won’t hurt, and I will be an application user.

    But congrats on saving money…

    Reply
  10. Chris Vighagen

    Interesting article, you are the polar opposite of me.

    I got myself an iPhone 3G 8Gb the same day that the 3GS came out. The prises had dropped like a stone on the old models. I pay 64,21 USD (449 SEK) each month and get unlimited data transfer in Sweden. The minutes I get each month is 513 (or 8 hours).

    Now I got my iPhone for the exact reason you decided not to have a phone. I want to be accessible everywhere, I want to be able to check my email and post to the web with my phone.

    I never saw it as getting a new phone with apps, I viewd it as geting a PDA that could make phone calls.

    And no I dont use alot of apps, only a few, all in all I use some 30 apps to be able to leave my desk and get out and get stuff done. THough I am mostly on the “run” since I visit a lot of friends and my work place is the better part of Lund city right now. THe downside with an iPhone is that you have a tendency to treat email as an SMS function =D

    I find it fascinating to read about how you feel tethered to your phone and the web-work with an iPhone and get a sense of greater freedom with a land line and an an office. Very anachronistic in these times of Web2.0 and augmented reality.

    Though I totally ager on the restaurang and map parts, its more fun that way.

    Reply
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  12. Colin Wright

    I sold everything I owned that wouldn’t fit into a carry-on bag before I left for my Exile Lifestyle project, and the thing I miss the most is my iPhone.

    True, the iPhone would have fit in the bag (or my pocket, for that matter), but since I was going to be doing a lot of traveling and trying to get myself into challenging situations, I didn’t want to depend on the GPS, always-on Internet connection, constant access to translation software, etc etc etc.

    So I guess you could say the reason I got rid of my iPhone is because it was TOO handy. It has plenty of flaws, for sure, but the biggest turned out to be that it allowed me to go through life without being forced to remember where cross-streets are or how to ask what time the party is in Spanish (‘A que hora es la fiesta?’)

    Reply
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  14. kwekblogger

    Great post! It’s really funny and made my day. I for one haven’t got a iPhone nor plan of getting one. Just like you, I rarely use my cellphone and if I do, I just used it texting and calling.

    Reply
  15. OweEng2

    I’m not a fan of iPhone either. Most people I know that has a iPhone don’t even use it’s apps except for games and text. They think they look cool with a iPhone. I’m happy with my slim Nokia 5310 that I can carry even when I jog in the morning. I’m sure that’s a sight to see with regards to the people running to each other coz their too busy using their phone.
    PS. I also have that Motorolla phone before, just the orange colored one and I love it till I gave it to my sister.

    Reply
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  17. Ozy

    I got here from a link which stated that you slyly got Google Voice to work well in your browser sidebar. I searched your site; couldn’t find your method. Esta verdad? Gracias.

    Reply
    1. Jim Gaudet

      Hey there Ozy

      I think after a redesign the GV widget was removed, same thing on my site. It is pretty easy to setup once you have your account.

      Basically, you just type in your name and phone number and G will call your phone, then once you pick up, it will try to connect you to me. And you don’t know my number..

      Reply
      1. Ozy

        oooh actually what I was looking for is a way to put GVoice in my side bar and have it re-size so that just my contact list shows…nothing to do with the GVoice widget I don’t think. I’ve had Voice since the beginning of GrandCentral, and totally love it.

        Here’s kinda what I’m talking about: http://lifehacker.com/5252074/google-calendar-integrates-tasks I’ve done so for my calendar agenda, for Talk, and for Tasks — was hoping to put Voice there too and I got to your site via a google search.

        You might check out the Firefox extension for Voice by Chad Smith if you haven’t already.

        Reply
        1. Jim Gaudet

          Cool, I like how that looks but I don’t think my contact list would like being put on my website, unless it is just back end and no one sees it. Maybe you can filter the list of clients by group…

          Reply
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  19. nokia apps games

    I think after the redesign GV widget deleted, the same thing on my site. This is quite easy to setup once you have your account.

    Basically, you just type the name and phone number and G will contact the phone, then after you take, it will try to connect you to me. And you do not know my phone number ..

    Reply
  20. Bridget

    I just bought the Tracfone because I also have a landline and I have GV, but I can’t get the SMS to forward to my new Trac. Do you know why?

    Reply

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