Smartphones on a budget: can it be done?
We ask whether you can have the latest smartphone and make a few savings in your month
The face of mobile technology is changing. We seem to be at an interesting crossroads for the industry, once a pretty humble offshoot of internet and landline telecommunications.
Now, mobile dwarfs all of its former brothers and sisters. There were 5.2 billion mobile devices, registered, paid-for and active, in the world in 2011. According to a report by Cisco, that number will overtake the number of humans in the world by the end of this year.
That’s almost twice as many registered mobiles as registered bank accounts. And nearly five times more mobiles than registered computers. Like many of the world’s experiments that started off as a little speculation, suddenly, ‘mobile’ is not so light and mobile. It’s a behemoth.
Consumer demand is asking for two things, and they may be pulling in different directions: ever-faster and more capacious handsets; and quicker, cheaper connectivity and data. Can the world cope with getting this connected? And, more precisely, can the network providers help us out here?
The good news is that compared to say five years ago, smartphones are on the whole relatively affordable. To buy a state-of-the-art smartphone device for under £100 is now a reality, rather than a dreamed-for possibility. This means that pay as you go networking designed for smartphone usage is coming back.
Hooking users up with a giffgaff sim, which can be unlocked through following a few simple steps on the website, then allows owners of Blackberry, Apple and Samsung smartphones to pay for their data, calls and texts via bundles and goodybags rather than two-year contracts.
As with any money-saving idea, there are pros and cons. You need to be pretty vigilant with how you use your phone, and have a very good idea of what kind of consumption you’re looking at before you get going on a deal like this. Alongside that, there are considerations to be made about connectivity and usage.
However, if you’re a smartphone user who travels, it’s an extremely viable option, allowing you to be flexible with your spending and to avoid huge roaming costs.