I confess: I have a dumb phone.
People who know me think it’s hilarious that me–the “gadget queen,” as they call me–doesn’t have a fancy phone and can barely operate the simple prepaid phone I do have. The other day, there was a tiny icon on my dumb phone’s tiny screen and my sister had to tell me what it meant (it was muted) and then I couldn’t even figure out how to unmute it–my sister had to help with that, too. I guess it gets muted a lot, because I almost never hear my phone ring so most of my calls go to voice mail. Did I mention I hate my cell phone?
So, why do I have a dumb phone?
Living in the country prevents me from having a smartphone and its requisite data plan. Until very recently I could not even get regular cell phone service at my home. Although I do now get a cell signal here in my house from at least one provider, most cell phones are useless here–just ask my friends and relatives. So, for years, my husband I have used basic dumb phones under a prepaid plan, which costs us each about ten dollars a month buying the minimum of refill minutes per cycle.
Even now that we can get Verizon signal here at the house, we can’t justify a smartphone plus data plan. For one thing, it makes no sense to get rid of our landline since it is bundled with our DSL and the cost is negligible. By having a landline at home, the only time we need to use our cell phones is when we travel, for emergencies, or on the rare occurrences that our home phone goes out. We each have to recharge our prepaid minutes every 90 days with a minimum of $30. Even so, neither of us comes close to using that amount of airtime, and between us we probably have a surplus of over $300 in prepaid airtime, ever-increasing. Just on my phone alone, I have over $200 in accumulated rollover airtime credit!
Still, I would love to have an iPhone. I keep my iPod touch on me always, and it would be wonderful to have one less thing to carry when I am out and about. My dream is that last summer’s rumors will come true and Apple will finally release a (stripped down?) version of an iPhone that is compatible with Verizon’s prepaid plans. Cricket has already announced a prepaid iPhone , and Sprint’s Boost Mobile is also rumored to be introducing a prepaid iPhone , so here’s to hoping more providers will be offering prepaid iPhones soon. Not that I am a huge fan of Verizon–it’s just the only wireless provider than I know works at my home. Unfortunately, I have little confidence that Cricket or Sprint provide coverage to my rural home area, and they still require a data plan, even though it’s prepaid. What I’m looking for is nothing more than an iPod touch with basic phone capabilities that can be used with a pay-as-you-go-plan without forcing me to buy an expensive data plan. Is that too much to ask?
And while I’m dreaming, it would be great if I could apply some of my accumulated minutes to the purchase of this dream phone!
This post on Gizmodo caught my attention: How Many of Your Friends Still Use Dumbphones? It’s comforting to know there are still lots of people using dumb phones for good reasons. Hit the comments and let me know if you’re one of the minority dumb phone users, and why. And if you know of some way to make my smartphone dreams come true without getting saddled to a data plan, I’d love to hear it!