Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-07-2012, 06:08 PM   #101
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,629
Here's another article about true iPhone cost- and it's about iPhone 4 & monthly plans prior to last couple rounds of rate increases:
True Cost of an iPhone 4 is Thousands, Not $199 or $299 : Notebooks.com

As Bestwifeever said- multiple sources for decent relatively inexpensive smartphones & no-contract (pay-as-you-go) plans. Besides WalMart, T-Mobile web site offers some surprisingly good phones (e.g. Samsung Galaxy (4g) for ~$130 net after $50 service credit). Pays to shop around.

BTW- Pre-paid (no-contract) plans (in US at least) are not just cut-rate (spotty service) carriers. In fact all major carriers (Verizon, ATT, Sprint, T-Mobile) offer pre-paid. I've been on both contract & no-contract services over past several yrs (all major carriers) & noticed no difference in service quality. Whether or not no-contract is cheaper over time than 2yr contract depends on individual circumstances. AFAIK all carriers except Sprint now have data limits &/or throttle data speeds for new accounts.
__________________

__________________
ERhoosier is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-07-2012, 06:16 PM   #102
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,395
Yeah but the AT&T and Verizon prepaid plans aren't that attractive.

They do lease some bandwidth to MVNOs. I think the Wal Mart product might be using the AT&T Network. However I don't think that includes the LTE networks?

T-Mobile is trying to by Metro PCS which has some limited LTE networks. But Sprint is trying to outbid or block that deal. T-Mobile would really push into prepaid service using the Metro PCS and its own LTE networks that they're going to start to build. Or that's the speculation.
__________________

__________________
explanade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2012, 01:53 AM   #103
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,387
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERhoosier View Post
... AFAIK all carriers except Sprint now have data limits &/or throttle data speeds for new accounts.
I've got more and more curious about this "throttling" business, so surfed the Web and found this article about how a phone with an unlimited plan could get slowed down to the point of being unusable. This guy sued in a small-claim court and won $850.

Revising the Limits for the Unlimited

Still, I wonder how easy this 5GB/month quota can be reached with normal surfing (what is normal anyway?). The article implies that 5% of the users, or 1 in 20, are against the limit. Also, the situation may be in flux, and this article is dated March 2012.

An article linked by ERhoosier earlier mentioned a plan with a 250MB limit. It was dated 2010. I do not see any plan with such a low limit offered anywhere. So, there has been some upping of the limit. Perhaps more 4G capability has been brought on line.

And by the way, I followed the link to the Walmart deal provided by Fuego, and user reviews said that the service was provided by T-Mobile, and it had a throttle at 5GB/month.
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2012, 12:21 PM   #104
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,526
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
An article linked by ERhoosier earlier mentioned a plan with a 250MB limit. It was dated 2010. I do not see any plan with such a low limit offered anywhere. So, there has been some upping of the limit. Perhaps more 4G capability has been brought on line.

And by the way, I followed the link to the Walmart deal provided by Fuego, and user reviews said that the service was provided by T-Mobile, and it had a throttle at 5GB/month.
I have seen some plans recently with as low as 50MB monthly cap. Basically a data lite plan. Just enough to send some emails, maybe including a few emailed pics, surf a little mobile web, access some non-data intensive apps. No streaming anything.

I usually use 150MB a month and don't stream hardly any youtube or music, but I use the phone for work, so lots of emails and attachments, a fair amount of facebook or email photo uploading, some web surfing and frequent GPS/aerial map usage. I just saw that my carrier virgin mobile does throttle speeds after 2.5 GB during the month unless I pay another $25 to re-start the plan month and the data throttle cap.

My take is that 2.5 or 5GB is a lot of data on a mobile device. Whenever I'm at a wifi connection, I'll jump on it (takes 2 button presses - about 1 second). Uses less battery versus the 3G and is way faster and more reliable. And that data usage doesn't count against my throttling cap.

However if you want to sit in a coffee shop (or at the doctor's office or at the auto shop) for hours on end and stream HD video to your phone/tablet for hours on end, 2.5 to 5GB will be woefully inadequate and once a speed throttle or overage charge kicks in, you will be very frustrated. My home TV is approximately 47" larger than my mobile device so I spend a lot more time watching HD content from my couch than on my phone.
__________________
Retired in 2013 at age 33. Keeping busy reading, blogging, relaxing, gaming, and enjoying the outdoors with my wife and 3 kids (5, 11, and 12).
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2012, 12:43 PM   #105
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,395
Mobile devices will be fine with 1-2 GB. I don't watch videos on the small screen either or download directly to my iPhone. Instead I download to my computer and sync to it.

However, I went ahead and ordered the iPhone 5 because my company pays for the plan and it includes Personal Hot Spot. Not sure how much data one can use before the accounting dept. tells you you're costing the company too much.

However, if LTE speeds are good as advertised, which may be almost 10 times as fast as the 6 Mbps connection I have at home, I can see using the Personal Hot Spot to use with my iPad and maybe even my computer.

I went to the America's Cup in San Francisco Saturday and I tried using the Personal Hot Spot on my iPhone 4. It worked somewhat and it downloaded emails on my iPad. But it was slow, so I can see where LTE with Personal Hot Spot could get you speeds comparable to your home or even faster.
__________________
explanade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2012, 01:10 PM   #106
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,526
Quote:
Originally Posted by explanade View Post
Mobile devices will be fine with 1-2 GB. I don't watch videos on the small screen either or download directly to my iPhone. Instead I download to my computer and sync to it.

However, I went ahead and ordered the iPhone 5 because my company pays for the plan and it includes Personal Hot Spot. Not sure how much data one can use before the accounting dept. tells you you're costing the company too much.

However, if LTE speeds are good as advertised, which may be almost 10 times as fast as the 6 Mbps connection I have at home, I can see using the Personal Hot Spot to use with my iPad and maybe even my computer.

I went to the America's Cup in San Francisco Saturday and I tried using the Personal Hot Spot on my iPhone 4. It worked somewhat and it downloaded emails on my iPad. But it was slow, so I can see where LTE with Personal Hot Spot could get you speeds comparable to your home or even faster.
Is Personal Hot Spot just a fancy name for "wifi hotspot" where you use your phone as a wifi router for your other devices (laptop, ipad/tablet etc)? I use the Foxfi app on my android for that, and works great for wifi connected devices, at least to get web surfing and email. Definitely a huge plus if you can get this on whatever phone you have if you plan on using another device in a mobile fashion. We use the free wifi from my android phone at hotels and at out of office meetings and works great and saves on having to pay for a 2nd wireless data service for connected devices or hotel wifi fees.
__________________
Retired in 2013 at age 33. Keeping busy reading, blogging, relaxing, gaming, and enjoying the outdoors with my wife and 3 kids (5, 11, and 12).
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2012, 05:07 PM   #107
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,387
So, I see that people here who have wireless data use it to supplement, and not to replace their land connection at home. As both my wife and I are aready on the Web too much as it is, we do not feel the need for connectivity when we leave the home. In fact, we use the RV treks and the time up in our boonies home as antidote for our internet addiction.

As I stated, when traveling, not for anytime we are out the house, I do want to get connectivity for checking the news, the stock market, and to get travel info as we travel, but the coverage in rural areas or national parks is still weak or non-existent.

Being from a technical background, I am still interested in the cost of the service and what cool apps they have on these smartphones. I am very much interested in learning about the state of the art, though I dropped out of the telecomm business more than 10 years ago.

The article by ERhoosier shows how people who use wireless data as the main connection, and buy a lot of apps, iTunes, etc..., can rack up several thousands of dollars in cost a year. Young people who are glued to their phones pay a lot more than the people here who pay $35/month.

Of course there has to be a reason for Apple stock to go up that much. If I had followed the iPhone usage trend, I would have bought Apple stock and done a lot better than owning the grungy companies that I now hold. So, I miss out, not so much as a phone user but as an investor.
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2012, 06:22 PM   #108
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Quote:
Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
FYI T-Mobile and Virgin Mobile have decent unlimited data plans for under $40/mo.
I'm still hanging onto a virgin mobile grandfathered plan for $25 a month for unlimited data/text and 300 minutes/mo to go with my $110 motorola triumph.
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2012, 06:30 PM   #109
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,796
On the topic of phones/gps/travel.
If you have an unlocked phone and can use it as a mobile hot spot or as a tether, with a local sim... it can be very useful.
We spent a week in Modica, Sicily with no wifi at our vacation rental... that sucked.

We did have a gps we'd brought with us... I swear that thing saved our marriage when we driving through Palermo to Monreale. And again when we were driving on unnamed roads, through farm fields, looking for our vacation rental near Marsala.

I can totally see needing an internet map to find a restaurant in Taormina - that is a very vertical city - with "streets" that are actually staircases.

Until about a month ago I didn't have a smart phone - just a dumb feature phone. I'm temporarily using a smart phone for work. It's not worth the hefty monthly bill for the data plan. But it would be while traveling. I'll dump the data as soon as I'm allowed. I'm hoping to keep the phone (which has international bands) and use it as my Europe phone with local SIMS.
__________________
rodi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2012, 07:09 PM   #110
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,395
Personal Hot Spot is the sanctioned brand name of the service which lets you tether your mobile data connection. The carriers charge extra and I know there are apps. which let you do it without signing on to the official services. But the carriers supposedly inspect the packets and determine if you're tethering without paying for it. I think they may be canceling accounts which have been grandfathered in with the unlimited data plans?

Yes mobile data can be useful. In Taormina, the hotel I stayed was suppose to have Wifi but they said it was down when I was there. So I used my mobile data connection.

Lot of smaller, family-run hotels can have spotty Wifi connections. Not always up, maybe not reaching your room, etc. The bigger chains gouge for Wifi use and what they offered is usually so throttled that it's not much faster than old dialup modems.
__________________
explanade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2012, 09:32 AM   #111
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,526
Quote:
Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
I'm still hanging onto a virgin mobile grandfathered plan for $25 a month for unlimited data/text and 300 minutes/mo to go with my $110 motorola triumph.
I have that exact plan for my LG Optimus. Lucky fir me the plan is only $26.50 with tax for me, and the current employer reimburses $27.50/month max for cell service so I get "free" smartphone service. My coworkers are paying $80-120 for similar service (some have 4G and some have a little more talk time).
__________________
Retired in 2013 at age 33. Keeping busy reading, blogging, relaxing, gaming, and enjoying the outdoors with my wife and 3 kids (5, 11, and 12).
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2012, 09:33 AM   #112
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Quote:
Originally Posted by explanade View Post
Personal Hot Spot is the sanctioned brand name of the service which lets you tether your mobile data connection. The carriers charge extra and I know there are apps. which let you do it without signing on to the official services. But the carriers supposedly inspect the packets and determine if you're tethering without paying for it. I think they may be canceling accounts which have been grandfathered in with the unlimited data plans?
I've used several alternate firmware loads on my triumph and those included wifi hotspot capability. I've used it off and on to share my data connection with a car full of tablets that were wifi only, shared it with my son's devices and once when the cable was out, I hooked everything in the house through it and it stood in there for about 5 hours, slow but functional.

Virgin allows hotspot with some phones, but not this one, but in over a year I haven't been canceled or threatened. So if they're inspecting the connections, they stink at it!

I suspect that if you tethered and ran through more data than 70-80% of normal users, they'd warn you and then kick you off. Although a smart company would realize that your marginal increase in data usage is more than offset by the marketing costs and giveaways required to acquire a new customer.
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2012, 09:37 AM   #113
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Quote:
Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
I have that exact plan for my LG Optimus. Lucky fir me the plan is only $26.50 with tax for me, and the current employer reimburses $27.50/month max for cell service so I get "free" smartphone service. My coworkers are paying $80-120 for similar service (some have 4G and some have a little more talk time).
My son has my optimus as his phone, minus the cell phone plan. Basically an android ipod. Gave my wifes old one to her nephew as well. Both have voip services so they can make phone calls/text when in a wifi area, and all the normal android apps/games work fine. I scooped up the optimus's a couple of years ago for ~$50 a pop, and they're still being used. Pretty good deal.

My only complaint is data that runs around 300Kb/s to maybe 900Kb/s. I used to get over 1Mb/s when I first got the phone, but the coverage hasn't improved (1 bar at home) and the speed hasn't either. I looked at tmobile to see if their 4g coverage made it to my house, but it stops about a mile away.
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2012, 09:48 AM   #114
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,526
My kids love playing on my phone too and agreed - basically an ipod. Unfortunately I paid full price when it was brand new ($129??) but had to have something for work (new job) and the up front cost rivaled the ongoing monthly cost of competitor cell providers. I used the Vonage app to piggyback on our VOIP service for free, and it works great, just eats the battery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
I suspect that if you tethered and ran through more data than 70-80% of normal users, they'd warn you and then kick you off. Although a smart company would realize that your marginal increase in data usage is more than offset by the marketing costs and giveaways required to acquire a new customer.
And the cost of oversight and verifying compliance with the "no free tethering" policy probably far exceeds the marginal cost of a small minority of users occasionally tethering and using up some or most of the 2.5 GB cap.

I have used a free hotspot app off and on (infrequently) and never heard a peep from VM.

We have similar issues with speed inside our house - only 2-3 bars most of the time so speeds under 1 Mbps. Just a few blocks up the street inside our neighborhood, away from the main road (at a friend's house and inside the kids' elementary school) it is 0-1 bars and can't hardly even pull up a web page if I can get a data connection at all. I'm not sure how it compares to competing providers though, since I think "no bars at home" is a very common cell phone user complaint.
__________________
Retired in 2013 at age 33. Keeping busy reading, blogging, relaxing, gaming, and enjoying the outdoors with my wife and 3 kids (5, 11, and 12).
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2012, 11:01 AM   #115
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,387
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevink View Post
This article in the WSJ really puts what people are spending on phones in perspective:

Cellphones Are Eating the Family Budget - WSJ.com
I think young people put more of their discretionary expenses (I would hope that it is truly discretionary) on smartphones, apps, iTunes, and accessories than other leisure items that were the staples for previous generations. I now recall a recent article that car makers have also noticed the trend that the new generation now cares less about cars. Perhaps they also care less about houses.

Who am I to say that young people should spend more on eating out, cars, theaters, travel, clothes, renting DVDs, etc...? But if I were a merchant of a commodity or service that is in decline, I would be very worried. It's tough to make a buck anymore. I think this is the kind of "Black Swan" that Taleb talked about. He also described how modern economy evolves into one where the winner takes all. The winners so far are the likes of Apple and Google. Who knows how long their reign will last? Forever?
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2012, 05:51 PM   #116
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,395
Yeah kids aren't into getting cars as soon as they can and then spending a lot to trick them out. They like gadgets.
__________________
explanade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2012, 06:34 PM   #117
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,869
Quote:
Originally Posted by explanade View Post
Yeah kids aren't into getting cars as soon as they can and then spending a lot to trick them out. They like gadgets.

How do you get lucky in the back seat of an iPhone?
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2012, 06:38 PM   #118
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,387
"Do you want to get closer here to look at this app on my iPhone?"

Would that work, I wonder?
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2012, 06:49 PM   #119
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,395
Well FB and Twitter and texting are all part of the mating ritual these days.

iPhone gives you access to these all the time.

They could probably share info. about whose parents are out of town. Or who can borrow a car.
__________________
explanade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2012, 12:48 PM   #120
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,395
Got mine last week. Poor reception in my home (not different from the coverage I had with iPhone 4).

But a couple of blocks away, I've measured speeds of 65 Mbps download! That's ten times as fast as my home Internet connection.

Otherwise, I used it on a trip to San Francisco (about 40-50 miles). Told Siri to give directions to this parking garage and it found it. The display of the route is slicker than my Garmin can ever hope to be.

Is it worth it? Well, I paid for the upfront fee ($299 plus tax) but company pays for the service. Otherwise, I would have had to think hard about it.

Certainly fast, light and sleek device. Probably offers a pretty good upgrade in speed (even before LTE) over the iPhone 4, which is a design which is well over 2 years old.
__________________

__________________
explanade is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:31 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.