using iPhone without a plan
This is an idea I've been tossing around lately...I use almost no minutes of talk each month, and am around wifi for much of the day. So if I ditched my AT&T plan and kept my phone to use strictly as a wifi device and camera--without getting a second cell phone--what are the pluses and minuses of such an idea?
Obviously the big plus is savings; my cell bill is the cheapest plan available but still runs about $1000/yr.
Just as clear are the big minuses: no cell service means no calls, emails,notifications, or texts when I'm away from wifi. I do have a Google Voice number and a VOIP app (and Skype) I could use for calling when around wifi. I'd miss the SMS on the go ability more though. Emails and notifications can wait for me to be around a signal.
No Pandora on the go.
GPS? I'm still not clear on this: will the GPS receiver work without a data plan, assuming I'm using offline maps?
I'm sure I'm missing a lot; please chime in here!
Anyway, I haven't convinced myself either way yet, but wanted to see if anyone out there was using their own iPhone this way? If so, do you have any advice? Regrets? Tell me what you expected, and how well (or how badly) things have turned out.
- 10-10-2011, 05:56 PM #2
- 10-10-2011, 06:44 PM #4
GPS apps like Navagon will not work without a data plan, however, you can use offline maps like you said for directions. you said you like texting, have you considered using your iP4 with AT&T's Prepaid plan? My daughter is using my old 3GS. Texts more than she calls with it, so basically I only pay about $100/year for her to use it. WiFi will work fine for using the web, and emails. Also, if you did want to go somewhere and really needed 3G data just for a short period of time, all you would need to do is change the APN settings to AT&Ts prepaid data settings and you could purchase a temp. Data plan for one month. Then let the data plan expire when you don't need it any more. Either way, your iP4 will function fine if you just want to use it as an iPod touch.
- 10-10-2011, 08:16 PM #6
- 10-10-2011, 10:13 PM #8iMore Intermediate
- 135 Posts
For me, not having a data plan (even the cheapest $15 a month one like I have) hobbles the iPhone experience. Much of what the iPhone does relies on a data connection- be it cellular or wifi. If I am a home I can use my computer. But if I am out and about being able to use my iPhone to check news, maps, play with apps that require data, even buy a song from iTunes when it strikes me, I think I would just not get the most out of such an amazing device without a data connection.
If it saves you enough money that you find it worth it, then that's all the convincing you need!
I totally hear you, and if I could get a data-only plan, I'd do it in a heartbeat. But paying $40/month for voice I almost never use is just starting to seem like a huge waste. I know I'd miss my mobile data, but I'm wondering if I could get used to it.
Thanks for the input!
- 10-10-2011, 10:56 PM #10
Articles like this one make me wary of trying it: Can AT&T really add a pricey data plan onto your wireless bill? | ZDNet Here's an excerpt:
Earlier this year, I got the same message from AT&T saying that it added a data plan to my bill. I canceled the data but was dismayed that AT&T added the data plan back on the following day. AT&T told me that there is no way I would be able to get away with using a smartphone without a data plan since it uses IMEI to track my smartphone usage.
And this is from AT&T's site:
Smartphone Data Plan Requirement: Smartphones require a DataPlus, DataPro, or DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering plan. If you exceed your initial data allowance, you will automatically be charged an additional $10 for each additional 1 GB provided on a DataPro plan or an additional $15 for each additional 200 MB provided on the DataPlus plan. All data allowances, including overages, must be used in the billing period in which the allowance is provided or they will be forfeited. Access to corporate email, company intranet sites and/or business applications requires an Enterprise DataPro plan.
Do they not track IMEIs when you're using a prepaid plan? And if I went that route, would I just turn off Cellular Data in the settings pane? I'm actually getting kind of excited to try this...
- 10-11-2011, 04:00 AM #12
But I guess if you're just using an iPhone on prepaid for texting/calling AT&T doesn't care.
- 10-11-2011, 04:08 AM #13
- 10-11-2011, 04:21 AM #14
- 10-12-2011, 04:22 AM #15iMore Expert
- 775 Posts