If anyone had asked if I could drop the data plan on my mobile phone a couple months ago, I would have thought they were high, if not insane. Dropping my data plan, have you lost your mind? Nevertheless, that is exactly what I did almost two months ago.
It all started about 2 weeks after I bought the new iPad, my Android phone broke. OK, I’ll admit it I was messing with it and I think I shorted out the connectors that enable it to read the SIM card. The death of my android phone was the catalyst. The truth was I hadn’t much bothered with my Android phone since the arrival of the new iPad. What can I say; it was gadget love at first touch. How I missed having an iPad. My iPad 2 was stolen the previous September. How I managed to hold out without buying another one for 6 months was simple enough: I didn’t have the money to replace it and by the time I would have the money for a new one, the new iPad was just around the corner.
It was two weeks after the new iPad arrived and I now owned a dead Android phone. Sure, I could have bought a new phone but, to be honest, Android had put a sour taste in my mouth. Despite wiping my Android device several times over the previous months it was lagging and generally being slow; in truth it reminded me a lot of Symbian (S60) in many ways. Symbian was a great smartphone platform in its prime: the Nokia N95 was king and I loved the king. Who knew I was Nokia’s beta tester (if Nokia Lumia 900 marketing is to believed)? Android and Symbian both work well after a fresh wipe: for a few months anyway. Having not used not much data those two weeks I began to tell myself that I don’t need a smartphone with my trusty iPad at my side.
In the weeks before the new iPad arrived I had made the decision if the iPad has LTE I might buy the 4G model. If on the other hand, the new iPad offers LTE and tethering, it is a done deal. I had purchased a Verizon MiFi almost a month before my previous iPad had been stolen, I could simply transfer service to the iPad. When it was announced the new iPad would have both LTE and tethering, it was a done deal!
It has now been nearly 2 months without a data plan on my mobile phone and I don’t miss it in the least. OK, maybe a little but I don’t feel like I need it or compelled to replace my broken Android phone with another smartphone. For those that are curious, I managed to acquire an unlocked Blackberry Bold 9700. There is no data plan on the phone, it isn’t setup for email nor are any applications installed. In fact I actually removed all the installed standard applications. I ended up with this phone because: it was free (it was about to be recycled at work) and it can store a huge amount of text messages; something few feature phones do well. I don’t use a lot of voice minutes. I do however; use a lot of text; which the Blackberry handles extremely well.
I have the 5GB data plan on Verizon and most months I use between 4 & 5 GB. The kids have also benefited from the iPad, even when they aren’t using it. Each of the kids have their own iPod Touch. I let them tether off the iPad when we’re out. A common phrase heard in the car, “Dad, can you turn the Internet on?” This Dad has certainly enjoyed the convenience of not carrying around and charging the MiFi. The MiFi, at best, had a run time of 4 hours. The iPad can go for quite a few hours more, not to mention I feel like it is a more useful tool when I don’t have to mess with the MiFi before going online away from home or free hotspots.