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.