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teapower

A smartphone without a data plan?

how can i get a smartphone without a data plan. i know sounds stupid but the data plans are 2 expensive.

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71 replies
ok4gdgt

When good people do nothing.....

Take action!

I don't know about everyone else responding here, but I filed a complaint with the FCC at <https:­/­/esupport.fcc.gov­/ccmsforms­/form2000!onSubm...>. I skipped the parts asking for my phone number, etc. since that is irrelevant and went on down to the complaint section. Another suggestion, write your legislator.

We were going to buy a Smartphone for our daughter yesterday. But we do NOT want or need a data plan. We wanted her to get used to using these new devices. But mainly we want it for the phone so when we get separated in a crowded place, she can call us and so we can get rid of our landline for good (we don’t' want to leave her without a phone when we aren't home).

For those who cannot understand why you would want one without a data plan, we have wifi and wifi is readily available elsewhere. For us the times would be rare when we would NEED internet access when not at home or too far from another public wifi connection. Often we are with someone who has a Smartphone with 3G access. And we still know how to use a map and use our cell phone to find place and get directions and other less technological solutions are available to resolve any NEEDS and almost every want.

Consider that, just a few short years ago, we actually managed without cell phones and internet at all! I can't imagine how anyone could consider a data plan essential unless they work remotely and have to do more than just stay in touch with their co-workers and clients (like send and receive photos and other files) or perhaps some personal issues (like health). It certainly is not ESSENTIAL for most personal users.

It's a privilege, it's a luxury item. We shouldn't be forced to purchase a luxury.
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jwitt98

I purchased an LG Thrive Go-Phone. It's currently the only Go-Phone that is also a smart phone. I have no data plan and use only wi-fi. Much like you, it is infuriating to me that these cell phone carriers try to force you to take a data plan against your will just because of the type of phone you are using. They would have you think, as many already do, that your smart phone is useless without a data plan. If your phone has wi-fi, then that is hardly the case.
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pika2000

You can always buy non-carrier-tied unlocked phones and use any prepaid plans. As long as people still demanding carrier controlled phones, carriers will always dictate things you can/can't do with your phone.
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newstar

That's exactly what I was told by ATT. Thanks!
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Rebecca27

I totally agree this is insane. Why do we put up with this foolishness. I for one refuse to be sucked into their plans.
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conch

Since when don't you pay for a luxury? To say you shouldn't be forced to purchase it, you aren't forced. You have the option of getting a phone that does not require data. Everyone pays for a luxury.
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jwitt98

What planet are you from conch? Clearly you are yet another person who has been duped by the carriers into believing that smart phones require a data plan in order to operate. Let me state this clearly so you will understand *SMART PHONES DO NOT REQUIRE A DATA PLAN IN ORDER TO OPERATE* I am grandfathered into a plan where I still have a data opt out option and I WILL NOT upgrade. My whole family has smart phones. None of us have data plans, and guess what.... All of our smart phones WORK JUST FINE... The fact is... you ARE forced into a data plan based on the phone you choose to use.... You DO NOT need one.... The carriers are LYING TO US and telling us we need a data plan or our smart phone will not work... That IS NOT the case... Learn the facts
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ok4gdgt

I think the point conch and many others have missed is that the smartphone will work fine with WIFI and a data plan is only needed if you plan to travel beyond where you can get wifi and think you have to have internet access there. If I need the extra luxury of internet access almost anywhere anytime, then sure I would expect to pay for it. But what I want is the features of the smart phone when I'm around wifi and the phone and other non-internet features when I'm not. I don't NEED a data plan. I'm already paying for my internet connection at home, my home phone, and 2 cell phones. That's a lot of money. I can't justify the additional cost of a data plan for the rare moments when I think I might like internet access away from home. For some people, their jobs demand it. Others make plenty of money and can afford it. But some of us work hard for the money we make and can't afford to fritter it away on a luxury we don't need.
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jwitt98

You are spot on with those statements... I'm so tired of carriers trying to lie and rip people off for their own profit. If you want and need a data plan, then fine, but if you don't want or need one, you should not be forced to take one.
A perfect example as well as the source of most of my anger.... my recently departed Father had ALS and could not use his hands to dial a phone. We researched and bought him a hands-free speakerphone. The only catch was that the speaker phone only worked with smartphones, so we also bought him an android go-phone, switched his sim card and got him set up where he could make calls without using his hands.
The next month's bill came and AT&T had added a data plan to his package, something he never wanted or would have ever used. I argued with ATT over the phone for over an hour during which time I explained the whole situation. They could not have cared in the least. It was infuriating to be lied to repeatedly, and then after being called out on their lies, to have them make up other excuses and refer to their bullshit policies.
In the end, we had to scrap the whole speakerphone plan and go back to his old phone in order to get them to remove the data plan as he could not afford the expense of the data plan with all the doctor and hospital bills accumulating.
I should mention that he was a long time AT&T customer, so, thanks AT&T for making his final days just that much more difficult.
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1102

I have complained about the exact same thing -to Verizon; they could care less. They are making HAND OVER FIST profits over DEMANDING data plans when according to a Pew Charitable Trust study - ONLY 25% of people actually use their data plans!!!!!! Soo soo corrupt! And, to boot - sending texts actually cost carriers NOTHING! (according to the study). I happen to use a Palm Centro - which is a fantastic touch screen smartphone! It was the LAST smartphone you could get without a data plan. You can still buy them and use them!!!! And it FILLED with fantastic options - better than some current smartphones!!!!
www.computerworld.com­/s­/article­/9178836­/5­_ways­_iPh...
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1102

oops my data was a tad off. It is a study done by Nielsen and it was 25% don't use their , not the other way around
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butterfly17

I have the Palm Centro from Verizon, too, and have had it for just a little over 3 years now! I also got it back when it wasn't mandatory to have a data plan with a smartphone, and it was November 8, 2008... only ONE WEEK before the policy was changed. So, I made it just in time! However, the volume isn't the greatest anymore (but I think that's probably my fault lol)... even when it is on the highest setting, so sometimes I have to put it on speaker, but that can be inconvenient at times. I have been putting up with the crappy volume for a while, so I really need to get a new phone, but I don't know which one to get because it's so hard to find a phone that has all the super nice features that THIS one has but is NOT a smartphone (which requires the data plan)!

So, do you happen to know of any other smartphone besides the Palm Centro that does NOT require a data plan? I can't afford one, nor do I even need it! If there is no other phone, then I may just end up purchasing another Palm Centro (but from Ebay) to replace my current one. Do you have any other ideas, though?

Also, you are right in saying that this is a fantastic smartphone! In fact, I hate that I even have to get a new phone because the one I have works just fine with the exception of the poor volume quality now. :(

Any help would be very much appreciated :) , and thanks for spreading the word about the Centro! ***Just a side note, though for those who might think they can get the Internet***... without the data plan on this phone, it is NOT capable of accessing the Internet since it is not equipped with WiFi!!
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newstar

ATT rep told me that the Samsung Flight II doesn't need a data plan "to work." Then he said all phones need a data plan to go online though. But, I say IF it is Wi-Fi capable it should work without the plan right?! I think some phones just need a plan to even unlock it as a regular phone at first and to force us into getting a data plan for the first 2 yr contract. I think phone companies hope we will not want to cancel the data plan part after the contract expires and that the phone will still be unlocked to use as a phone and with wi-fi if we did think to cancel it after the contract. That is our plan. That's what I am understanding from my hubby and all these posts.
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jwitt98

For all you people who can't figure out why someone would want a smartphone without a data plan - It's a thing we call WI-FI. You can do anything with your smartphone with a WI-FI connection that you can do with a data plan and do it faster. If you have 24/7 access to WI-FI, which some of us do, there is no need for a data plan. The fact is that the carriers don't want you to use WI-FI exclusively because they want to stick you with their data plan so they can make more profits. It's that simple.
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newstar

AMEN!
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tonyescobar

Go online to ATT.com once you purchase an iPhone (locked or otherwise), change the phone you have to a non smartphone once you sign in, and if you get caught, deal with the consequences. Also I can understand people not wanting data. I can't receive 3G where I live and depend on Wi-Fi where I work from home. Sucks, I know.
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wileykyle

I live and work on a college campus and have WI-Fi access all the time. An iphone without a data plan would be great in my situation. I don't want to 'steal data' i just don't want to pay for something I don't need. The cheap cell phone solution with an ipod touch could work but the ipod touch has no camera and the whole point of having an iphone is to carry less gadgets in favor of an all-in-one solution. I realize that the phone is subsidized by AT&T and they make back that cost through the data plan. I would not mind paying $100 dollars extra to be able to have the iphone without the data plan. $360/year seems like a lot when I don't need or require the data plan.
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carrierz

The $30 AT&T gets for the data plan is $720 over their 2 year contract. I'd at least like the option of paying retail for the phone as long as I knew it would be paid for. At present, I've kept the same smartphone for almost 4 years without data plan. If we do it their way I'll be paying $1440 for that same phone because I've already proven I don't use the data. What kind of pleasurable experience is that....choking on the thought of it.
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newstar

My iPod Touch 4 has a camera. I can Face Time my hubby on his iPhone 4 and have free texting thru free apps: i2i and freetext. Wow! I didn't realize how old this post was that I am answering, but my answer will help anyone new that is looking for answers!
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Gogo

You probably don't need an answer for this anymore, but just in case...

Get the 200MB data plan for $15/month, which totals to $360 for 24 months. You can still get the subsidized price of $200, so the total for the iPhone would be $560.

That's still cheaper than the unsubsidized price of $599.
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burnsdabest

How can you get it subsidized?
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newstar

That is the discount price phone companies give you when they offer rebates, and force you to sign a 2 yr contract with a data plan included.
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newstar

That's why my hubby got the iPhone thru ATT. I think we will drop the data plan part once his contract is up in Sept.
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ho

I work in front a computer with internet all day long, so I do not need a internet on my phone but I can not find a nice looking phone without paying for the internet or data plan, I pay $60 monthly for my home internet service which incluede wi fi, so with the cellphone companies policy I have to pay another $60 bucks for my wife and my self cellulars data plan, $120 for internet monthly, what a money waste.
I think we can get a group of people and hire a lawyer to fight against the cellphone companies, they will bring us a posibility to use a smart phone without data plan contract.
I hope any body contac me to get prepare to go against the monopoly.
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pika2000

You can buy iPhone 4S unlocked straight from Apple and use AT&T pay as you go SIM without data plan.
For Android, Sony is selling the Xperia Arc S, pro, mini pro, all unlocked, and you can use them with AT&T pay as you go without data plan.
The option is there. If you want the carrier to stop bullying customers, stop buying their phones that they control. Demand Samsung, HTC, and the other OEMs to release handsets without being molested by carriers. The only way to break this is to ban provider locking without exception so carriers are no longer in control of handsets.
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newstar

Accept aren't they much more expensive to purchase the phone? They're hundreds of dollars right? Does it balance out eventually?
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veniex

eBay is an option. That way perhaps you can choose whatever plan you would like.
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KevinLWright

There are ways that you can get around having a data plan with some smartphones like the iPhone. Though there is some risk. Services such as AT&T have terms in their agreement that specifically state that you must have a data plan for the life of your iPhone and that if you don't and they find out that they can charge you for that data. In that case I doubt there going to be nice and charge you the 30 some dollars a month.

Unlocked phones is a choice though in some cases like veniex was saying.
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Levirules

even if they did just back charge the normal $30/mo, after just 1 year, that's friggin $360..
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angusg

Move to Australia. Apple sells unlocked iPhones down here without a plan.

Did that sound like I was gloating? I'm just so tired about Americans whinging about AT&T.
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KevinLWright

Cause you wouldn't be a little dissatisfied if you were in the same boat? I like my AT&T service for the most part, but I'm not crazy about their business or how they treat their customers.

How much are you paying for that unlocked unsubsidised iPhone as well?
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teapower

because data plans are expensive and unaffordable to some people and wifi enabled phones will get data at home or other places with out having to pay 20 to 30 dollars a month extra for mobile data.
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teapower

also what does a clean esn mean?
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KevinLWright

ESN, I believe, is a dedicated number to your device. If someone steals your phone or you do not pay your bills your phone can then be permenantly kicked off the network by blacklisting your ESN. Phones sold on eBay with bad ESNs will not work on a network and I am not aware of a way to fix it.

I may not be completely correct on this matter and if I am not I encourage some one more knowledgable to correct me.
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JasonTsay

You can flash the phone onto another carrier.
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teapower

i saw a pre on ebay used. they said it had a clean esn. does that mean i could use it on sprint or verizon if i bought it today?
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KevinLWright

If you bought it today you SHOULD be able to use it on Sprint. You would only be able to use it on Verizon if it was unlocked.
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winstonplatt

You can use it on prepaid ATT if that would work for you.
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liz

i've read this works quite well. you can also use the SIM of another at&t phone.
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winstonplatt

Yeah, by law they have to allow people to use it with PAYG so you don't have to unlock it or anything. Good for texters but not if you talk much on it.
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swingkat

A recent news article states AT&T will require a data plan for any smartphone. This is effective yesterday, 9/6/2009. I'd suggest trying the other options below like trying a prepaid plan or a 3G SIM from another phone. Chances are if you go through AT&T for the move, they'll force you to get the data plan.

www.internetnews.com­/mobility­/article.php­/3836001­/...
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pika2000

Get an unlocked phone, and use the pay-as-you-go Gophone plan. Currently I'm using a Nokia E51, and with the Pay-as-you-go plan, I just have to refill $25 every 3 months for the voice plan (I don't use voice a lot), and I can get Media.net data package 100MB for $20 a month. If you don't use up the 100MB, the remaining data pool will roll over if you renew the package before the month is up, and for basic usage (twitter, Google Maps), 100MB is plenty. You can renew it with the cheaper 1MB package for $5 a month. This is what I've been doing, purchase the 100MB for the first month, and just renewing it at $5 a month. :)

The issue with the iPhone is that it's hard to get it unlocked without having to spend a lot of money (or being risked having a bricked phone on the next iTunes/firmware update).
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teapower

if i were 2 put the sim of another att phone in my phone could i do it to an iphone i bought through att or apple under contract? or would it have to be a phone not under contract?
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winstonplatt

The SIM you put in the iPhone would have to be activated. But they'll probably figure out after a bit that your using a non iphone plan on the iphone, then they'll start charging you data.
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stridermt2k

"I want a car, but don't want to pay to use it on any highways."


-Well you may still be able to drive it, but you're not likely to enjoy the ride.
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1102

I disagree. I have a smartphone without the data plan and I love it. I use the calendar for everything. The camera takes pretty good pics, I can play fun games, if I choose, voice memos, pics, videos and misc other apps. Smartphones are just smarter when it comes to ease of use. I like the sidestreets...I don't need the speed of internet access on a tiny screen when I have access to "the highway" everywhere I do business and work, play etc - to NOT want to use TINY little screen. Palm Centro - rocks!
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jthomson111

more like "I want a car, but don't want to take toll roads."
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teapower

what?
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deinfinityx

I think what he was saying was by buying a smart phone and not wanting data is like buying a car and not wanting to drive on the highways. It is a rip that they charge so much for data but it is more of a feature of the phone. I know with the G1 i wouldn't be able to do half the stuff with it without an active data plan. So many features at least on the G1 and i would imagine the iphone and Pre revolve around having a constant data connection like twitter, mail, rss feeds.
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biglig

An alternative to consider: buy a tiny cheap cellphone, and an iPod touch.
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