Most people would think one of the worst money-saving tips I could offer would be to purchase an iPhone. We constantly hear about expensive Apple products, overpriced data plans, unnecessary upgrades, monthly overages, wasteful app store purchases and how overpriced smartphone plans are in the US versus Europe and Asia.
Yes, the Frug family has 4 Apple devices on an AT&T family plan, three iPhones and an iPad. True, the bill does make me cringe, especially the three different types of telecom tax. The phone and the taxes add up to about $55 per device per month. That’s not really what this post is about.
I was recently trying out Listly and created a list of all the things my iPhone replaced. I have dropped in the list below. Basically the iPhone since its introduction in 2007 has allowed me to get rid of a lot of stuff including some of the worst kind of stuff that has monthly recurring fees.
You’ll be able to tell from the list that I’ve always been a bit of a gadget addict. The iPhone is really helping me with that, replacing 20+ gadgets with just one and using free apps to do all the work. I mention a few of these apps below.
Here are some big items right off the bat.
Landlines – I was going through some old files the other day and came across some of our old phone bills. $65, $120, $85. This was back in 2006 when we were still using a landline and then later digital on Comcast, Vonage etc. My home number is now my iPhone and I give out a Google voice number to solicitors, websites, banks, etc. My wife does the same and we list each other as emergency contacts. If someone leaves a message on our Google voice number we get a nice transcribed email we can delete. We used to get calls at 6 PM every evening like everyone else. Now silence.
International long distance – We travel a good amount and I remember international long distance charges anywhere from $120-$350 per trip. That quickly added up to over $1000 per year. True, some of this was business-related, but as a business owner it was still my expense. I now use the Skype app or Facetime via hotel or restaurant Wi-Fi. It’s gotten a lot easier since I first tried this out in a Starbucks in Mexico. On a recent trip to Barcelona, I had daily FaceTime calls with the family, total international long distance cost $0.00. Only problem with FaceTime is that even my youngest can tell when I’ve had a few beers.
SiriusXM Satellite Radio – Satellite radio had ratcheted up to about 19 bucks a month before I discovered Pandora on my iPhone. Now can I can listen to truly commercial free music via Bluetooth. The iPhone automatically connects when I get in the car and any calls that come through pause the music. The music and calls are delivered via Bluetooth over the cars sound system. I just needed an adapter installed for my radio. The quality of Pandora and iTunes over Bluetooth to my car stereo really surprised me. I find it to be better than CDs or HD FM radio. Savings of about $200 a year after the annual pandora fee is subtracted.
Garmin GPS – The iPhone replaced my handheld GPS unit. I really enjoyed it for hiking, finding my way around strange cities, even on the water. Problem was it required CDs, expensive downloads that only worked on a PC, international city packs etc. etc. I understand that some GPS units even had a monthly fee. That’s all gone now. Not only is the iPhone a fantastic GPS device, it’s apps integrate information sharing like speeding cam locations on WAZE. WAZE should save even the most conservative driver a ticket every few years or find you a great local diner with low prices. Google maps free GPS is the best I found and, most importantly, covers walking and cycling directions that the others don’t. For hiking the everytrail app is awesome as you can share and discover great walks.There are a ton of options for hiking and running these are just a few.
When I add all this up and multiply it by several family members, I really believe the iPhone allows us to get rid of a lot of stuff. See the full list below and save a lot of money on unnecessary monthly fees that creep onto your credit card bill every month.
As I look at the list below I also realized all the time that was necessary to deal with all this stuff, racks of CDs, busted digital cameras and video recorders (now we just bust the iPhones) annual BS increases in satellite radio fees, and landline or digital long-distance fees. Lots of extra crap to pack when traveling like headphones, books, magazines, cameras extra batteries, etc. All replaced by an iPhone.
The message here was that the iPhone is worth every penny of the costs as it is something I use every day. And as a bonus it actually saves me time and money every month.
Live Lean. Work Lean. Travel Lean.
20+ Things my iPhone Replaced
I've been using iPhones since 2008. At first I thought it was just a cool smartphone until I look back at all the stuff it's replaced. The Frug
This was a great phone, But it was four years old when the iPhone came out. It was the first smart phone that I had that used apps. It had replaced a palm pilot so it made a lot of sense to have a phone integrated with calendars and other apps.
Digital Cameras - Canon PowerShot SD450 Digital ELPH Digital Camera Review, Information, Specifications
I purchased this camera as it was easy to carry in my pocket. It became redundant once the camera arrived on the iPhone. It became even more redundant when Instagram launched.
My iPhone replaced this handheld extremely versatile color GPS unit .I was able to use it for both marine navigation, hiking and driving directions. The iPhone handles all of that nicely. With lots of hiking apps, GPS driving directions and navigation options.
This camera was pre-flip, pre-iPhone. Used to be required equipment for a new dad. I think this one was $1100 bucks back in the day. Ouch.
The iPod Photo was my first iPod. It had a color screen and 60 gigs of storage for photos. I still haven't finished burning all my old CDs into iTunes. But now with Pandora on my iPhone I don't really need to. This was a great iPod really added music back into my workouts.
I was a big daytimer user. Always had one open on my desk or in the car for quick notes and to do lists. Later switched to a digital version. I would print out the pages and then put them in the binder. Seems sort of funny looking back on that now. The iPhone is great for calendars and to do lists and completely syncs with my laptop.
Programmable Remote Controls
As a music nut I always had hi-fi equipment around the house and I would constantly try to operate all of the different hi-fi components with one programmable remote control. These things were a pain in the ass and we seem to be dying or running down batteries. I'd usually end up with a carousel of the original remotes rather than dealing with these. The iPhone has a great remote for both Apple TV and a Roku app which may eventually replace all remote controls not just programmables.
SiriusXM Satellite Radio
I think satellite radio got up to about 19 bucks a month before I discovered Pandora on my iPhone. Now can I can listen to truly commercial free radio via Bluetooth. The iPhone automatically connects when I get in the car and any calls that come through pause the music. The calls are also delivered via Bluetooth. Just needed an adapter installed for my radio.
Home Phone Number
I was going through some old files the other day and came across some of our old landline phone bills. $65, $120, $85. And this was back in 2006 when we were still using a landline. My home number is my iPhone and I give out a Google voice number to solicitors etc. my wife does the same and we list each other as emergency contacts.
Digital tape recorder
Can't really say I used this much, but I had one for those momentous brainstorms that would hit me driving down the highway. Now I use voice recorder on the iPhone. Most of time just to remember where I parked.
Books on cassette tape
Remember these? Books on cassette I would play them in the car and had a whole box of them in the back seat. They were usually much more interesting than any talk radio. I feel like I got a lot of my business education behind the wheel of my car. I listened to these for years right up to the time they stop putting cassette players in cars. Audiobooks are still popular and they load right into my iPhone which I can play via Bluetooth on my car radio or just listen on a walk.
Car Cassette Player
I remember installing a pioneer stereo cassette player in my first car. Later I even installed one in my company car telling my boss it was for books on tape. I was more likely blasting U2, The Who or The Clash. I can tap into all these bands now via Bluetooth and Pandora on my iPhone. I also have access to all of my music from iTunes and my old iPod about 800 songs more than enough for a nice drive.
This camera was a blast. My son probably posted 50 videos on YouTube with it. Those videos will probably be floating around when his grandchildren come across them. Once video came to the iPhone I didn't have much use for it but it was fun while it lasted.
I think this one counts. earbuds replaced my old headphones. A lot of people didn't like the original white earbuds that came with the iPhone. But they've always fit and sounded great to me. The new ones fit even better. If they could just figure out a way to keep the cords from tangling.
These were popular a few years back. Funny though I was always lighting up the yellow light borderline drunk. But not over the limit red. I use a great app now that is much more accurate and takes all kinds of data into account including types of drinks time consumed , weight etc. The app is called intellidrink.
Hotel Wake Up Calls
Remember these. Since I usually wake up at early anyway the iPhone is more than sufficient to avoid having that robotic hotel wake-up call interrupt any morning peace and quiet.
I'm including these here as I was still buying CDs when I got my first iPod in 2004. I would dump them into iTunes and move the best music onto the iPod. Once wireless was added to the equation and apps like itunes, Pandora, LastFM, Spotlfy came along. I found no need for CDs at all. the crazy thing is that iTunes or the iPhone over Wi-Fi sounds better than the CDs.
USB Thumb Drives
I present a lot and always would carry a thumb drive around with a backup copy of presentations. Now the presentations are available on dropbox or in iTunes and I have an adapter so I can play them right for my iPhone. One less thing to carry around
You have one of these I know it. there's probably a few laying around their house but I got rid of the one I carried around in my car. The iPhone even has a dance strobe you can light up a whole room with. For flashlight I like the app called Light.
I was never a huge PC gamer but I must say I am an iPhone gamer. I love the quick access to games like jet pack, pinball HD, asphalt 4 very handy if am stuck waiting somewhere. . Definitely replaced PC games for me or any games on my Mac laptop.
This camera took great panoramic shots. But used traditional film which sometimes I rarely got around to ever getting processed. I love photography and the idea of film but I found the best camera is the one you always have with you. iPhone. And I can also get a great panoramic shot as well.
If the full list doesn’t show up in this post you can see it here. http://goo.gl/65hced
Let me know if I missed anything. What has your smartphone replaced lately? Please add your comments here.
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for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say cheers
for a incredible post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time
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keep up the great jo.
The Frug says
Thanks for the kind words.