iPhone for Cheapskates

So, we here at The CuT are incredible bargain hunters. We’ve decided to share that knowledge with you through our new “Cheapskate” series. And we’re kicking it off with our tips for the iPhone, since both the Asian-Persuasion and myself recently joined the club. (RingNAtion continues to use his Zack Morris phone, and Gay Guru is a hardcore Verizon enthusiast.)

In any case, being poor–mostly because no one pays us for the large amount of time we spend on this blog–we both opted for the refurbished option. As much I personally loathe Apple (my Mac at work is the computer equivalent of an epileptic), they do offer some pretty sweet deals on their refurbished stuff…and it’s all pretty much brand new.

Neither of us has very demanding tech needs. We already have iPods, and we won’t be watching copious* amounts of porn on them, so we got the 8Gb 3G phone for a whopping $50. In my case, I’d been holding out because frankly the idea of paying $30 for a data plan — AT&T offers an unlimited data plan for other phones for $15 — irked me. So I ordered a Nokia Surge online and returned it within days. It was awful. If I could have choked it to death, I would have.

Around the same time, my cousin’s complaints about her Blackberry Storm reached a fever pitch. She went through 5 of them…count them 1-2-3-4-5 in a matter of months. Fed up, she wasn’t exactly hard to convince to defect. She got out before Verizon jacked up its early cancellation fee, I put her on my plan. And now with us splitting the bill, the $30 data plan doesn’t seem so hard to swallow. And almost everyone I know is now an iPhone user, so almost every call I make is free. That means we didn’t have to jack up our “anytime minutes.”

So, long story short: If you want an iPhone but think you can’t afford it, just get the refurb option, and get someone else to join your plan and split the bill. Problem solved.

*the key word here is “copious”



  1. I agree, the shared plan with someone you can trust and not fight with over bills helps the whole AT&T bending you over and asking you to cough. HOWEVER, I must say i had the unfortunate experience of losing my 3GS phone 1 week after upgrading. “Big deal, someone has ALL my info, I’ll just buy a new phone,” I says to Mabel, I says. WRONG.

    That discounted price was the price to upgrade, having already upgraded, a new phone was only available to me for the retail price of $699 for 3GS, $499 for a 3G or a refurbished Edge for $299. I was also told cheap refurbishes are only applicable again to the one-time-only upgrade option. I believe this is pretty standard once you are no longer eligible to upgrade.

    So my advice to you—while you pinch your pennies—be careful, because to replace is not as cheap in the end and will cost you no matter what. Also, for new users, safeguard your phone, put a password up and click to erase data after 10 failed tries in the settings. The thought of someone going through your emails, facebook, pics and phone can be pretty disturbing.

    All cons aside, the iPhone is damn fantastic. Enjoi!


  2. thanks longo, now you’ve put the fear of God in me. Also, for all of those out there, longo should also tell you not to photocopy an ipod, iphone or the like.


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