First of all I have to apologize. This Children’s Ministry blog has been a little light on the Children’s Ministry stuff lately. I’ll get back to the ministry stuff soon. It’s been a busy season for me and I’ve been lucky to write any good posts lately.
Well, I’m in a bit of a quandry. I have a Cingular 8125 cell phone. I’ve had it almost two years and it’s been a great phone… my first smart phone. For almost a year I had it on a data plan. However, once I left Cross Timbers, I had to cut expenses and the $40 a month for email on my phone was the first to go. I’ve never added it back. So I’ve been using the Cingular 8125 as just a plain old cell phone. The thing I love about it is the full qwerty keyboard.
Ever since the iPhone 3G was announced, I knew I wanted one. I was really just buying my time, not in any rush. I have an iPod touch, so it helps give me most of the iPhone experience. Well, about a week ago the 8125 started to kick it. It could just be the battery, but it shuts off like the battery is dead, but then 30 minutes or so later, it comes back to life. So, it’s time to get a new phone, but I’m really not sure what to do.
Looking at the money, I don’t want to spend $30 a month on the data plan. I totally want an iPhone and will totally use it… but I don’t “need” it. I want it, but don’t need it. I can’t really justify spending an extra $360 a year for the data plan… or $720 over the life of the contract. I was hoping to lower our plan by $20 which would be motivation to do it. We have the 1400 shared minutes a month plan. We use on average 1000-1100 minutes a month. The next plan down is 700. Dang! We got rid of our land line, so it isn’t realistic to scale back. So, I’m just stuck. So it looks like I might not be going to the iPhone at this time. We’ve got some things to focus on financially though.
So, I’m racking my brain trying to figure out what I want. I’m not going to do a data plan, not worth the money right now. However, I’d prefer to have a phone with a full qwerty keyboard. Also I need to stick with ATT. So, I’m trying to figure out what I want. Maybe you can help. Here is what as caused the quandry I am in.
- If I go with the discount phone with ATT, I lock myself into a 2 year contract and I’m stuck with that phone for 12-18 months before I can upgrade.
- I have a $200 allowance from work to upgrade my phone that I can use every 2 years.
So, I’d like to keep my options open. If I get a new phone with ATT by signing a new contract, I’m stuck with it for a year or more. I can buy a used phone off ebay or craigslist with some of my allowance, but then I won’t have access to that allowance again for 2 years. So what do I do? I’ve thought about getting a really cheap “bar” style phone or $30 or something so that way I still have my allowance and I’m not locked into a device. That way, if I find a way to afford the iPhone allowance or soemthing else comes along, I have options. However, if nothing changes, then I’m not taking advantage of the allowance I have or the opportunity to get a new phone by signing a contract. Hmmm, what to do, what to do.
Last question and then I am done.
If I just stick to my guns and say, “no iPhone for me,” then I might go ahead and take advantage of getting a new phone. What do you know about wifi enabled phones? Can I set that sucker up to sync with exchange. That way, I will have email, calendar and such that syncs up anytime I have access to wifi. Here is my main reason. Most of these smart phones will only sync your contacts through exchange. I’ve tried to connect via usb and I can’t get access to contacts. So, I’d love to have access to all my contacts on my phone synced with outlook. Let me know if you know anything about that.
If you read all of this… bless you!
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my advice, for what it’s worth–spend $40 to replace the battery in your 8125, then just hang tight until your ready to upgrade to what you really really want, which is the iphone 3G. Once you let your contract run out, the cell phone service starts offering you all kinds of “private” sweet deals to lure you back into a contract. When the deal is right, go for the holy grail and use the $200 allowance to cover your costs for the switch.
Michael Warden’s last blog post..A Pox on Koobface!
I don’t know if this helps or not, but I got my data plan back when I had a Cingular 3125, which didn’t have a full keyboard. The data plan at that time was only $20 for phones without a full keyboard. Later I bought a Blackjack on eBay and simply put my sim card in it. Now I’ve got a $20 data plan on a phone with a keyboard. If they still have the $20 data plan, maybe there’s a way you could work it out with a different phone for now and get one with a keyboard later. You’re welcome to buy my old Blackjack 🙂 I’ve got a Blackjack 2 now.
Some thoughts, I’m paying for two original iPhone data plans and one iPhone 3G data plan. My monthly bill is $160. Here’s what you can do with an iPhone that you can’t with an iPod Touch. Using and EDGE or 3G tower (when wifi is not available) you can Twitter, update WordPress blogs, search Google Maps, use AIM, text message (I have the $5 200 messages plan), download music, download podcasts, update Facebook, email and make phone calls.
Consider all the things the data plan allows you to do when wifi is not available which really is a lot of the time. Want to post a tweet with pic while in Target, can’t do it with wifi. Want to make short blog post while waiting in some lobby or stuck in traffic, can’t do it with wifi.
That little $30 per month allows you to take of things on the road and out of the house that would usually be waiting for you till you got back.
The new data plan is $10 more than the original plan so ATT can subsidize the iPhone 3G at $200 (I bought the $300 model). I Paid $600 for my first iPhone, and $400 for my second.
And we too have gotten rid of our land line. Need to cut costs, stop tithing so much, God wants you to have an iPhone.
Can you get the iphone without a data plan? ( I haven’t tried so I don’t know).. if so, just use the wifi in the iphone and access Exchange/Activesync when you’re near wifi….
Go for the iPhone and spend the extra money on the data plan. You’ll love it and you’ll never go back. Give up some Starbucks and do it!
Thanks for all your help people. Good stuff to think about. Sara and I just grabbed some Taco Bell and spent $12 bucks. I know it’s just a matter of giving up two of those a month. So, we’ll just have to see. We’ve really cut back a lot this year. We’re a one car family, we don’t have cable/sat, we don’t have a land line and other things. I take my lunch to work almost every day, I don’t drink sodas anymore and I don’t do Starbucks. So, I really have cut back. We already are saving in a lot of areas, so it’s not like me committing to give up something to pay for it… but there might be some things I can cut back on… thinking about it people. You guys are giving me good ideas.
Ummm…maybe you can cut back on Taco Bell for your iphone but what’s in that for me? 😉
Sara’s last blog post..Making Marmalade
You may want to consider getting one of the Tilt refurbs for ~ $100 right now. It does a lot of what you want – sync with exchange, Wifi, etc. It’s a pretty decent upgrade to the 8125. I’d also consider looking at the Fuze as another possible contender. While neither of these have the looks of the iPhone, they also don’t have the overpriced data plan as a requirement. For my part, I see some coolness in the iPhone, but not enough to justify the cost and the extra data plan. One of the things I noted was that letstalk.com has the Fuze for $250 as opposed to ATT’s $350 (before a $50 rebate). Not a bad price, but does have some stips and still locks you in to a two year contract.
I understand the quandary – I’m hanging on to an 8125 right now and it works, but I really would like to upgrade. 🙂 I don’t have quite the battery issues that you have though. I also found that a lot of the customizations in the “Wizard” forum @ XDA Developers have really helped that device get some extra life.