At $199, the new iPhone is cheaper then the original, but it’s going to cost at least $10 more for service per month.
Everyone has already done the math and over the 2-year required contract, you’ll end up paying a total of $40 (or $160 more if you’re a text-messaging fiend, points out Gizmodo). Just $40 though? That’s not too bad, considering you can’t even buy 10 gallons of gas for $40 these days.
But at a minimum of $70 a month ($39.99 for phone service and $30 for data), the iPhone may be hard to justify on a budget. Let me try. Here’s my list of ways you can save money on an iPhone:
1. Move in with another iPhone fan and join AT&T’s family plan. Instead of each person paying $70 per month, the family plan cuts the price for two people by $30 total or two for $110 a month. Add even more ‘family’ members for $40 each. If you care, here are AT&T’s terms for iPhone family plans.
2. Save $25 through AT&T’s referral program. Refer up to 5 people and get a $25 gift card for each person. Your friend gets a $25 gift card too!
3. Skip the $99 for Apple’s new MobileMe e-mail software and opt for the free Funamobl. This open source software lets you retrieve web and POP/IMAP e-mail on the iPhone, backup contacts and calendar items over the air and synchronize contacts (and later calendar items and notes) from Microsoft Outlook. As TechCrunch points out, this won’t sync files and photos but it is open source so maybe one day, it will. The free software will be available for iPhone 2.0 in July at Apple’s official App store.
4. Make free calls. The $39.99 fee for phone service offers just 450 minutes, which may not be enough. Don’t get charged overage fees. Use iCall to make and receive calls over Wi-Fi. Nifty feature: transfer inbound cellular calls to Wi-Fi instantly to save on minutes. iCall’s not the only one. There’s also fring, iPhoneGnome, JAJAH, Talkety, sipgate, and RingFree, according to the folks at VoIP-Sol.com, an “independent blog covering the VoIP market, web 2.0 and related technologies.”
5. Sell your iPod. You don’t need it. Yes, the $199 iPhone only has 8 GBs of room, but consider your old iPod as a small sacrifice to own a multi-functional device. Besides, you can convert music at a lower bit rate so more songs fit.
Other ways to save money on any cell phone:
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