Cell Phone Freedom Day

April 15, 2008

For the first time in several years, I am free of my cell phone contract.  When I moved to Kansas in 2004, my cell phone was nearing the end of its two-year obligation.  Without realizing the consequences (and without being told about them) I called Cingular and changed my phone number to the new area code.  Turns out that this change added a full year to the contract.

I kept that phone for the additional year, and then some, before upgrading to a Sony-Ericsson W600i, which I still have today.  The contract for the W600i ended yesterday.  If my memory is correct, the phone without a contract would have been close to $400 new.  The two-year contract cost me roughly $960, so I guess that makes my average monthly cost, for the past two years, approximately $23.30. ((960-400)/24)

The only phone available today that interests me is the Apple iPhone.  However, I can't justify the additional $20 a month the required data plan would cost, not to mention the $400 cost of the phone itself.  The per-month cost would be over $76 ($400 for the phone + $60/month for two-years = $1840/24 = $~76.67), an amount nearly double what I am paying today.

So instead of rushing out and buying the latest gadget and committing myself to a higher phone bill, I'll keep this phone for now, and celebrate not having a contract for a while.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.