Ever since the iPad mini debuted, I've had a plan brewing at the back of my mind. Sometime in 2013, I'm considering ditching my iPhone, picking up a refurb 1st gen iPad mini 3G (I assume I won't be putting this plan into action until the spring at the earliest), and buying a cheap Tracfone with triple minutes for life.
I figure it would save my family a bunch of cash.
I'd be dropping my unlimited iPhone data plan, but since I'd also be dropping my voice plan -- a service I barely use, with expensive wasted minutes -- I could basically buy 3 GB/month for less than I'm paying for my voice/data plan combined. Instead of paying $70/month, I could cover my voice needs for $100/year and drop my data to maybe $30/month. Basically, my costs would go from $840-ish per year down to $480-ish per year.
What's more, I'd address one of my biggest complaints about the iPhone -- the screen size. The iPad mini's larger screen would work far better for reading on the go.
And yet, I hesitate.
The honest truth is that I love my iPhone. I love its small portable form factor. I love how I can just put it in a pocket and I'm ready to go.
Although I do most things in life with a small backpack, I really really really like how easily the iPhone allows me to grab it and go. I can use Siri when stopped at a light to message, to find directions, to make a note, to add a reminder, and so forth. I love how the iPhone is a single thing, not a pair, and how well it does all the jobs I give it to do.
Moving from iPhone to mini means sacrificing that grab and use functionality. But is that functionality worth nearly $400 a year to me and my family?
It's not as if I can't do all these things (excluding placing calls and SMS texts) on a mini. It offers all the iOS found on Apple's other devices, including Siri support, a camera system, and so forth. If I'd have to put a price tag on love, my iPhone love would cost about, well, $400.
I've omitted the capital costs here since for my job I'd probably be picking up the hardware anyway at some point -- this only assumes that I'd buy a 3G instead of the WiFi that I'd normally purchase.
So what do you think? Is this the biggest heresy since Grothaus suggested going Samsung? Or is this a reasonable and sensible direction during tough economic conditions? You tell me. Drop a note into the comments and share your opinion.