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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > iPod Touch: Use as Main Phone?

iPod Touch: Use as Main Phone?
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freudling
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Apr 24, 2011, 10:43 AM
 
So I got sick of paying such high prices for my phone. Like, $125 a month. It was a pretty good plan, but still, limited. Had to constrain my daytime minutes, etc.

I use Skype so much I just dumped my cell phone completely. That's right, I don't even have an iPhone anymore. I have the iPod Touch and loving it. Way thinner and lighter than the clunky iPhone, with almost all of the benefits. Retina display, front facing camera, iOS and all the Apps, built-in mic and speakers, etc.

Yes, I know, no 3G chip so no communications outside of Wifi. That's annoying and a huge drawback going over to the Touch. But I'm dealing with it.

My costs are, for 1 year of use:

Unlimited Canada and US calling, with call forwarding, call display, unlimited voicemail: $36
Call-in Phone Number: $40
Total 'cell phone cost' per year: $76.
Now, I still need sms messages, and I can send them with Skype with my number showing on the other parties call display. However, there's actually some free sms services out there, so really I'm at $76 a year. That's less than just 1 month the cost of my regular cell phone.

Then there's FaceTime: make free calls to other compatible iPhones.

Because of how much value is here, I've just totally abandoned regular cell phones. It feels so good to have such cheap telecommunications. And the cool thing is because so many people I know use Skype, the free video calling and instant messaging Skype-to-Skype... it's all rolled in.

So I've been willing to make compromises (no data connection). And not having to worry about locked in 3 year contracts, or the ridiculous $600 price tag of an iPhone vs. the $250 price tag of an iPod Touch entry level unit is such a breathe of fresh air.

How about you? Anyone trying to use the iPod Touch to replace expensive cell phones?
     
Chongo
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Apr 24, 2011, 11:25 AM
 
Free wifi is everywhere. For trips to non wifi areas, bring someone who has a hotspot phone.
     
ibook_steve
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Apr 24, 2011, 03:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
Free wifi is everywhere. For trips to non wifi areas, bring someone who has a hotspot phone.
Are you kidding? I'm in San Jose, the heart of Silicon Valley, and as much as I want to do what the OP is doing with his Touch, it's just not possible even here. Even with a Sprint Overdrive, it's just not easy or convenient to always use Skype on my Touch. I'd get a smart phone (iPhone hopefully), but I can't convince my wife (or myself for that matter) to basically double our cell phone bills (I'm on the now non-existent Sprint SERO plan with my old dumbphone, paying only $30 a month).

Skype was great when I went abroad, but I can't work it into my routine on my Touch.

Steve
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Chongo
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Apr 24, 2011, 03:21 PM
 
     
subego
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Apr 24, 2011, 04:13 PM
 
Wouldn't you need a wifi connection to use that?
     
freudling  (op)
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Apr 24, 2011, 04:28 PM
 
I think I should say something else here too. I got sick of being on the phone all the time. Really, how many phone calls and text messages do we really need to be sending each other? I'm just sick of it. And you're probably sick of having to listen to idiots bullshit on the phone out and about while you're standing next to them. I think there's a lot of wasted breathe.

So this is also part of my "disconnect a bit, and leave me in peace" attitude. The amount I am connected with my Touch is actually perfect. I don't want to always be connected. I need my downtime and time to think. I have all this great content too, like iBooks, iTunes U, etc. on the Touch. I'm never without stuff to do on it, whether I'm wired or not.

I remember my ex-girlfriend. Couldn't even get through a meal without that damn iPhone chiming from text messages, and her checking it. Just buzz off world!!!
     
ibook_steve
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Apr 25, 2011, 02:14 AM
 
If free wifi is everywhere as you said earlier, why do I have to search for it? Having to go somewhere where there is wifi (which I don't need to search for; I just check for networks on my Touch) specifically defeats the purpose.

Steve
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freudling  (op)
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Apr 27, 2011, 09:23 AM
 
The idea here is that I don't always want/need to be connected.

So far, there are enough wifi hotspots that things are fine.
     
imitchellg5
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Apr 27, 2011, 09:41 AM
 
So, what happens when you need to be contacted urgently or you need to contact someone else urgently?
     
hadocon
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Apr 27, 2011, 06:23 PM
 
For me A phone is about convenience and I, like man others are willing to pat for that convenience.

When you are hammered and your girlfriend is begging you to take her home because she's "ready" (wink wink) you need to just call a cab. There's no time to find wifi and fire up Skype.

Gnome sayin?
( Last edited by hadocon; Apr 27, 2011 at 06:24 PM. Reason: Spelling)
MacBook Air 11" 1.6Ghz 4GB 128GB Backlit Keyboard, 4S, iPad Mini
     
freudling  (op)
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May 1, 2011, 10:15 AM
 
Ya, it's true, no urgent calls or cab calls after the bar. It has its drawbacks for sure.

But the positives for me right now far outweigh the negatives. $76 a year and the thinness and lightness of the iPod Touch... I can't ever use any current or past iPhone. They're all ugly and clunky in comparison.
     
freudling  (op)
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May 21, 2011, 05:53 PM
 
Got a new App for telecommunications for the Touch. Voxox. Send and receive text messages for 5 bucks a month unlimited and anywhere in the world. Also, unlimited calling across Canada and the US for like 3 bucks a month. Gave me a free local Canadian phone number too. Comes with voicemail and voicemail transcripts; custom on-hold music; and more. Still in beta and not all features work yet but it's coming.
     
Big Mac
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May 22, 2011, 02:41 AM
 
While I love my iPhone, I don't love the service price and especially the expensive data plan charges that have to be endured. I also really don't like ATT's policy precluding official iPhone unlocking out of contract. So I've been seriously contemplating going with a variation on the theme from freudling. In the near future I may deactivate my 3GS, get a Virgin Mobile $25 pre-pay Android phone and a new iPod touch. I'd probably wait for the next revision of the touch and also for newer Android options from Virgin (the current crop is okay but the Inspire, at least, is slow and has poor touch screen sensitivity). I would never completely give up having cellular access, so unless Apple gets really bold with the iPod I'll always need a phone. But I don't necessarily need the greatest smart phone.

After the cost of the phone and iPhone is factored in (it would take about half a year in savings from not paying for an iPhone), I'll be able to plow the small but not completely insignificant monthly savings into more valuable things than overpriced smart phone plans. Like I'd like to put the $40 a month I stand to save into buying shares in an undervalued company or into ounces of silver. Maybe my mind will be changed if the next revisions of the iPhone are very impressive, but as it stands right now there are better things I can be doing with my money, and a cheaper smartphone plus an iPod, while being not as convenient, makes a lot of dollars and sense.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
dbjork
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May 22, 2011, 03:42 AM
 
I wouldn't rely on Skype and wi-fi for my communication needs. If it's really the savings you want, there are cheaper options.
     
AccessoryGeeks
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May 24, 2011, 04:15 PM
 
That sounds like a good effort, but as time goes by you will end up in some situation where there is no WiFi.
Why don't you just lower your minutes and try to balance out your Skype use and your minutes? You are going to be at almost the same price if you add a text messaging plan anyways.
No disrespect, but I don't see why you would sacrifice convenience for a savings of $10-$15 tops, per month.
     
   
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