Do You Really Need an iPhone?

The king of the smartphone world, the iPhone, is not the only competitor out there. A few years ago, many people didn’t know there were any alternatives, but improved marketing and support for iPhone alternatives has made them viable for those who aren’t Apple fans and even those who are.

If you’re considering buying a smartphone, it’s worth thinking about some popular alternatives that can perform most of the functions of the iPhone without the expense or software. Many smartphones can compete with the iPhone, so even if you have other Apple products, take some time to figure out whether you really need an iPhone or if something else might do instead.

Here are some reasons you might consider iPhone alternatives:

1. Keep your existing contract.
Some providers offer the ability to switch phones and keep your existing contract, but others lock you into a contract with that particular phone. Not all providers offer iPhones, either. If you’re in the middle of a contract, ask your provider whether you can switch to another smartphone for less than it would cost to get a new iPhone contract and provider.

2. The Android app marketplace is hot.
The famous Apple slogan (“There’s an app for that,” if you haven’t been watching TV for the last few years) is no longer true of just iPhones. Other marketplaces such as Android have been attracting more developers, especially given the tight controls on the App Store for iPhones. Windows apps are less common, but are likely to boom as more Windows smartphones are developed.

3. You can get similar style at cheaper prices.
The Samsung Galaxy S III is a very similar phone to the iPhone in terms of style and functionality. It has a 4.8-inch HD screen, bigger than the iPhone, and runs Android 4.0. The camera beats the iPhone camera with an 8-megapixel camera built in, but the phone is still a one-handed device similar in size.

mobile phones

4. You can opt for a phone with a keyboard.
Not everyone likes tapping on a touchscreen in order to type. If you prefer a physical keyboard, a phone like the Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE can give you that, plus a similar screen, Android operating system, and (again) lower price than the iPhone.

5. It’s easier to avoid the proprietary system.
Your reason for avoiding the iPhone might be as simple as avoiding the proprietary Apple system that locks you into using App Store apps unless you take the time and trouble to jailbreak your phone. Apps can also ask to use your location, and DRM-free formats can’t be played on the iPhone.

The take-away lesson from this: don’t buy any smartphone without evaluating your own needs and the available alternatives. iPhones might meet your needs perfectly, but you might also be pleasantly surprised at how much some of the popular alternatives can offer without the proprietary Apple system locking you into using specific apps, or even the cost of an iPhone.

Sam Jones, the author, has been looking into iphone 3gs pay as you go deals and is keen on the cheaper options available.

Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bfishadow/5077249243/

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