7 Reasons NOT To Buy An IPhone, Android, Blackberry, or Other Smartphone

Today's "gotta have it" is tomorrow's "sad and obsolete trash."
Today's "gotta have it" is tomorrow's "sad and obsolete trash." | Source

We like to think that peer pressure is something you grow out of, like acne or Boone’s Farm wine coolers. But the astonishing proliferation of smartphones doesn’t bear that out.

(Did you know there’s a Dave Ramsey app for the iPhone? You put in your financial information and it gives you advice. I wonder what the app says if you ask it whether or not you should have bought an iPhone!)

If you’re trying to resist giving in to your desire for a smartphone, here are some things to consider:

1. It doesn’t do anything you can’t do elsewhere.

Unlike a lot of other major purchases (like a car or a computer), a smartphone doesn’t have any functionality that you don’t already have. Assuming you already have a cell phone and computer access, there’s nothing new you can do with a smartphone that you can’t do with those two things.

(Aside from silly useless apps like the level, of course. Apps that people buy and then never use again. Shh, don’t tell!)

2. You’ll have to pay a lot for the privilege of using it.

If you’re like most people, you are already paying for internet access, and paying for cell phone usage. With a smartphone, you will also have to pay a monthly fee on top of your regular bill, just to use it.

Currently an iPhone data plan costs $15/month with AT&T Wireless. That’s $180 a year! Blackberry and other messaging plans are $20/month, or $240 a year!

If I offered to pay you $180 a year to keep using the phone you have already, you’d be stoked, right? That’s basically what you’re doing if you decide not to buy a smartphone.

3. Just buy a laptop

Let’s say you buy an Android phone for $300, then use it for two years (the average contract length) for an additional $15/month on top of your current cell phone bill. At the end of two years you will have paid $660. You can get a pretty nice laptop for $660! And a laptop will do everything a smartphone does, plus more!

 4. But what about Pay As You Go plans!

A lot of people protest that they get their smartphones on pay as you go plans, and if they keep their smartphone use to a minimum, that makes them pretty affordable. So why get a smartphone at all, if you’re not using it?

The answer is clear: to impress people, or at least to seem like you’re normal - one of the crowd. Why not take a stand, stand out, and keep using a regular cell phone?

5. IPhones don’t come out of nowhere

Our appetite for “stuff,” and for electronics in particular, is destroying the world. Electronics are made with valuable minerals which are mined under terrible conditions. You may have heard of “blood diamonds.” Well, electronics are made with “blood minerals.”

Then add the ecological toll of mining, shipping, and processing those minerals. And the process of manufacturing electronics, which is one of the most toxic manufacturing markets in the world today. AND the end-of-life handling of your old cell phone, which has a lot of toxic chemicals in it.

This is all covered in fascinating detail in Annie Leonard’s mini-documentary “The Story of Stuff.” You can watch it for free on her website here.

6. Next year everyone’s going to want something else

Within 12 months, the thing you’re lusting over right now will be yesterday’s news. You’ll hardly be able to give it away. All the cool kids will have moved on to something else, and suddenly you’ll look like a grandpa, pulling your smartphone out of your pocket.

Get off the treadmill now, while you still can! If the Joneses want to waste their money on redundant and expensive gadgets, then let them. Of course they want you to keep up with them and buy a smartphone of your very own – it validates their decision to do so.

7. Get the free phone, instead

Almost every carrier offers a free cell phone if you renew your contract. Take a look at your upgrade options, because they can be pretty spiffy! If your current cell phone is getting clunky or dying, check out the free ones you can get. You might be surprised!

And if you ask me, “free” beats “$200/year” any day!

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Comments 10 comments

BenJay profile image

BenJay 5 years ago

I strongly agree with a lot of what you said, but I must say the android is in a different league of the Iphone and there is a lot of free applications and services. Its just whether you are willing to pay the price of convenience.

jobister profile image

jobister 5 years ago from Anaheim, California

I agree that smartphones are money pits, but as I write this comment from my iPhone I have to say I love my phone. It has given me inpromptu directions, answer emails, stay. Connected to friends via Facebook. My phone is my primary source of communication so it is worth it for me. Plus getting a laptop with 3G service to me is a waste. However, Rover 4G as prepaid option can be good.

Katharella profile image

Katharella 5 years ago from Lost in America

While I find this hub interesting, I have been through a plethora of phones, and I would LOVE to have my iPhone at her prices! :) I have unlimited call/text plan so it's about $100. a month for each, but I don't want to lug around my laptop when my iPhone does the same thing and fits in my purse! I have shoulder problems, and the less I carry the better it is for me. Chronic pain, makes us want the lighter object to carry so the price is worth it. Don't get me wrong, I like this hub :) and if I could have a mini laptop or notebook that does everything my iPhone does, I would do that, but when I carry even my small purse, the notepad don't fit! They should make one build on or something or... um.. maybe I shouldn't of brought that up! LOL someone will invent it and beat me to the punch again! :)

Jacob S profile image

Jacob S 5 years ago from California

I can agree with what allot of what you said but I also think that people want to buy whats in, or whats hot, and smartphones are just really hot right now. I gotta say that nothing beats the convenience or portability of a smartphone, assuming you can afford one anyway lol.

myi4u profile image

myi4u 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Sometimes, we just have to pay the price for carrying a smaller than small laptop in the pocket. Today, if you ask 10 persons what is the thing that they never leave home without it, I am sure 10 out of 10 will say mobile phone. They younger generations will always compare and they would want to have the latest smartphones available in the market. Also, with all the marketing strategy and the ever so powerful internet or facebook, smartphones have become the 'in' thing which cannot be neglected.

psf profile image

psf 5 years ago from Canada

I am not sure if you have ever used iPhone or any such cool devices. While I agree some of your views, the people who passionate about gadgets and top-notch technology surely will go for these kind of gadgets. This is not just by thinking they will get something more than what they are currently having(and I believe nowadays everyone knows that), but to get the great experience and pleasure by having that cool device in their hand, which they will never get by just holding money in hand.

Tommy 5 years ago

The complete post is flawed and does not make any sense. There's something to be said about not needing a smartphone because you don't need to be connect via the web every second of the day, but none of those points are made here. Instead the list is full of BS from someone that's never used a smartphone before and can't understand the benefits of owning one.

1) How does having portable internet access in the palm of your hand compare to having a computer and a feature phone. this is like saying don't buy a laptop because you have a desktop and forcing people to carry their desktops computers around. Smartphones offer connivence and that is a feature you can't replicate.

2) we pay for water at home, but yet we buy it in bottles when we are out. your argument is to dehydrate and save $1. services sometimes may appear to be the same but they offer many different benefits. At home it may be a necessity, on road it brings connivence. The connivence of being able to sort through my emails when I'm commuting, so I have more free time when I get home. The connivence of being able to find a good restaurant at the spur of the moment.

3) How does buy a laptop compare to buy a smartphone? you're comparing apples to oranges. That's like saying don't buy underwear, save your money and buy pants. Both are garments but serve different purposes.

4) Prepaid plans make it affordable to own a device, whether it be a smartphone or a feature phone. It's not about being normal or one in the crowd, Prepaid allows users to pay for what they use and that's a good thing. If you are so concerned with not being like everyone else, why don't you get rid of your cellphone all together and just have a landline at home, that will make you "stand out."

5) this not a reason not to get a smartphone, this a reason against electronics overall. You owning a cellphone is also condoning this!

6) this can be said about feature phones too! if you opt for a free phone every chance you get to renew your contract, you're also looking for something new and better. that is unless you use your phones until they die, which I doubt you do.

7) what do you mean by $200/year? data service? all carriers in the US offer smarthones for FREE. On AT&T the iPhone 3GS is FREE. It's not the latest and greatest but it sure as hell is a better value than any feature phone.

Jim 4 years ago

Hey Tommy, how about looking around when you're outside once in a while instead?

thoughtabout profile image

thoughtabout 4 years ago from Somerset, NJ

This is a nice article to raise high cost of ownership having smartphone. We need to look this in wider angle. I wrote 3 hubs about smartphone that explains bad and good uses of smartphone. People are addicted

to their phone in some cases. Other cases, they benefit when they get stuck in the traffic

jasontoheal 4 years ago

love your reasoning, but I have to say I love my iPhone soo much. At first it was an awesome tool for my lawn care business (a laptop was too cumbersome) but now I use it for everything. Very impressed with Apple. Before the iPhone existed I used smartphones btw.

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