Cell phones are not inexpensive, but they are here to stay. As the internet shapes itself and adapts to the social media climate of the past decade, the cell phone supplants the coffee shop, the phone book, MP3 players, remote control for the television, the car, and even, in some instances, the computer, with online searches and meet ups taking place on a mobile rather than in front of a larger screened monitor.
As the call for a highly capable phone has reached all comers, so too does the need increase for a variety of purchasing options for the financially diverse. From pay as you go phones to SIM switches to contract phone plans, the possible combination of phone networks, deals and phones themselves the ability to pare down the options based on strict criteria may help in the decision making process.
The cost of a new smart phone can cost upwards of Â£600, placing it out of the reach of many would be owners. Those who can pony up the money for a more modest phone may opt to pay as they go, limiting their exposure should their financial situation head south for a period. This supposition is based on the premise that some months will be more heavily phone based while others will contain fewer calls and text messages due to a lack of funds placed as credit on the phone plan.
This sounds less like a plan than like the lottery winner who, with no financial savvy, spends 75% of the winnings on a house and a car, failing to note the recurring tariffs for taxation, fuel, insurance and so on. The phone itself is only as powerful as the plan backing it up, so owners of a new iPhone may be settling for a lower data limit than those who seek out, say, the Optimus L7, a more moderately priced smart phone with plans costing less and offering more than more pricey options.
To own an iPhone outright, the cost up front and center can be as much as Â£600, depending on the version. To own the LG Optimus L7, the cost is around Â£100, considerably less but by no measure free. The decision to buy a phone this expensive need not go hand in hand with the decision to drop hundreds of pounds sterling at the same instant.
Pay as you go phones are the only version of a phone plan in which the networks have no ability to measure, track, or control the usage of customers. SIM switches and contract phones allow the companies to more easily manage their subscribers. With this ability comes more options for customers, options in terms of plan flexibility, phone payment options, handset choices, even the ability to choose whether or not to pay for that much desired new top of the line phone.
Take the iPhone 5 home and spend Â£600, or opt for a contract on the same phone and leave with it for no upfront cost. The Optimus L7 may cost a hundred or so pounds new, but it is available on contract for zero pounds. In fact, the L7 comes with extras when customers sign on for 24 months of service with select networks.
The Upside to Paying the Retail Value of a New Phone
On the brighter side of paying the full price of a brand new, fully-equipped, do everything smart phone, you, the purchaser, have full control over your contract terms. No contract wanted? Pay as you go? Fine. You can do that because you just plunked down to buy the phone outright. Now that you are the proud owner of a sparkling handset, the world is your oyster. You have no need of paying extra each month for a contract in order to pay off the price of your new phone. However, you may not want to retire just yet. The phone will still need a plan, and even if you got a great deal on NewEgg, the phone wont entirely function until a network is making some money off of your usage. For those customers who choose to spend money on the phone upfront, there are SIM contracts available for terms as short as one month and as long as 24, offering differing levels of connectivity. If you already own your phone, you may choose among the SIM deals such as 1200 minutes talk time, unlimited text messaging, and 1 GB of data allowance, enough for even the frequent Facebook fanatic, for only Â£12 monthly. This plan and others like it are more affordable due to the users coming to the bargaining table already with handset in hand.
Paying For a Contract Rather Than a Phone
For some, the high price of a new smart phone may prove too much to spend at once. In this case, there are options for contract phones which allow the cost of the phone to be diverted onto the monthly payments.
Because contracts make networks happy (more money more regularly than phone sales) they are willing to share the cost of the phone with retailers in order to get you on the hook for multiple months of service. This means that you will be able to choose from iPhones, Optimus L7s, L9s, and all the Android phones while keeping your bank account relatively intact. The cost of the contract may be a bit higher when the cost of the phone is built it, but the one time lump-sum payment is obviated in lieu of a long term contract which spreads out the cost of the phone over the course of the contract.
While the price of data has been falling over the past decade, the cost of a new phone has been heating back up. The first cell phones cost as much as the top of the line models do now, but the contracts available are affordable to the point that nearly everyone can find a phone and plan that works for them.
This article is copyright free.