Free Cell Phone - What Exactly is it All About?

By: Nat Jay

Free Cell Phones... Like they were hot dogs or something. But the fact is, these aren't uncommon.

Sites out there that review cell phones have these little drop-down boxes in a form, where you can specify your requirements -- the model name, features, some extras, and most importantly, the cost of the cell phone you want to purchase. And when you enter these choices, bingo! you get your calling, neat and easy.

I came across one such form recently, and there was an option to select cell phones below $10.

Now, you must be wondering -- what kind of phone would you actually get for such a measly amount? The answer -- some of the top-end end phones (first hand) from some of the most popular brands around. Also including, for good measure, the usual suspects.

The fact is, companies like Amazon and Ebay stock phones that cost just 1 cent. And Amazon itself has phones that cost exactly $0.

I know a company, one of the largest and oldest cellular stores online, that has a majority of phones on its home page dedicated to just free phones. And, if you go through the names -- Motorola RAZR, LG Chocolate, BlackBerry Pearl, Palm Treo -- you know these aren't discards from 2002/2003, but some of the hottest selling models from 2006/2007.

And they're all free.

So the big question is, how can companies afford to just give their phones away online when the big retail chains charge you at least an an arm for the very same phone?

Simple. One word -- Competition.

Competition online is what drives these companies to give their phones for free with the requirement that you sign up for any of their calling plans up front. If that sounds like a catch to you, fact is, it's not a bad deal at all. Considering that top-end phones easily cost a couple 100 dollars to buy, and on top of that there's the extra monthly cost of a calling plan, it can quickly add up to quite a tidy sum.

But on the other hand, when you're being given the same top-end phone for free, all you have to decide is which calling plan to go for. Simple as that. And yes, there's a way you can save here too -- Go for family or shared plans; these are the classic best options any time.

If you're able to rope in just one more person along with you, these plans offer the best deal in the cell phone market. They come bundled with the maximum amount of freebies and benefits at the most competitive costs.

Lastly, it's an unstated fact of the industry that customers with postpaid plans get the cream of the benefits, and are even serviced better than those who opt for the prepaid variety. I myself have experienced the subtleties and differences of the same as a subscriber of both types.

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