I Really Want an iPhone—But I Don’t Need One
Who doesn’t? They’re hip, sleek and full of fun apps. And Apple has done a great job of convincing us that they’re better, easier, faster than most smartphones on the market.
But truthfully, I don’t actually need an iPhone.
Of course, that hasn’t stopped me from looking. And from trying to convince myself that I actually do need this phone.
I’ve pored over the different monthly plan options. I’ve considered a prepaid plan to save money. That means I’d need to pay the full, hefty price (over $600) of the iPhone myself (it’s more expensive without a contract-plan provider subsidizing it).
But I still don’t need it. At least not now. There are rumors that later this year, Apple will begin offering a less expensive iPhone (around $30) geared to cheapskates like me. If I can justify it, I’ll reconsider the phone then.
In the meantime, here’s my thinking. (And as always, your situation will be different from mine).
- I work from home. I’m usually within an arm’s length of both my computer and my phone.
- When I run errands or go to meetings, I’m rarely gone for more than an hour or two. Do I really need to check email or surf the Web during that time? Probably not. I can live without full connectivity for a couple of hours. I used to do so all the time. It’s the product manufacturers that have made “always accessible” an expectation in today’s world.
- I have a cell phone. It does those major tasks like, you know, make and receive calls and texts. Granted, it’s got a pull-out keyboard and looks like it belongs to a teenager (um, because it’s my teenage daughter’s old one, which is better than my old phone that required three keyboard taps to create every letter of a text!). However, because I use it pretty sparingly, I rarely use more than $20 of prepaid minutes per month. The cheapest iPhone plan I’ve seen is closer to $45 per month—and it’s fairly limited.
- I have an iPod Touch. This great little gadget is like an iPhone without the phone. When I’m near WiFi, I can get online, download and use apps and do almost everything I could do with an iPhone. Since it’s two years old, it doesn’t have the voice-activated Siri function, and because it’s WiFi-only, it’s not always connected. But for that….
- I have a T-mobile hotspot. When I know I’ll be traveling or away from home a lot, I buy a month-long pass for this handy gadget. For $25, I get 1.5 GB of data (plenty for checking email, Web surfing, app use, etc.) for 30 days. I probably use the pass four times a year—when we take trips and during the holidays when I’m out shopping and want to do a lot of price comparisons. A plus: I can use the hotspot to safely connect my laptop when I’m working at coffee shops, so I don’t run the risks of sharing important data over public WiFi.
- I know how to read maps and download directions in advance. I almost wish I didn’t, because having turn-by-turn GPS is very appealing. But to be honest, I usually drive to the same places over and over. I already know how to get to those place. And when I go somewhere new, I can usually get directions before I leave home, or get WiFi long enough to check a map on my iPod Touch. Really, I’ve trashed all my major reasons for needing an iPhone.
If you’re an iPhone hold-out like me and many others—or you’re trying to justify any big purchase you’re not 100% sure about—trying pulling apart your reasons for buying it.
- Can you truly afford it?
- Are there cheaper work-arounds?
- Are there other ways you’d rather use your moolah instead?
- Could you wait just a little longer?
It’s not easy, but I’ll be waiting. At least until that cheaper iPhone comes out.
Photo by ColdSleeper.