Buy a Mobile Phone : Strategy
Our key strategies are as follows:
1. Decouple: Buy Phone set and Phone Plan separately.
2. Choose both Phone Set and Phone Plan somewhere in the mid range, avoiding top and bottom end offerings.
3. Avoid premium brands of large operators. Instead, target mid-ranged or discount brand of leading players.
4. Avoid contracts and remain free agent.
5. Both the phone sets and operating system are now generic having very little or no difference among brands.
6. Own equipment wherever possible instead of renting.
Following is a simple 4 step process as appended. All the available information has been readily organized to help you choose a solution for your particular circumstances. Pricing of cell phones are complex and disclosures often are not easy to follow. A thoughtful planning may lead to thousands of dollars of savings.
Following these steps could save you between 25-40% of your current expense.
The best place to start is to have a close look at what features and functionality we currently enjoy. We could then decide, which ones we do not use or need anymore and which ones need to be added for next two years. Following attached PDF Worksheet (Phone Plan) from Arctic Rich would be helpful in our exercise. We recommend taking a print of this page and fill out the details as much as possible. The information is available over the phone from the respective service providers or by logging into your online account with them. Download now:
Live Workshops and Expert Interviews
Set up a time to join our live online workshops to learn first hand all the critical points you need to know, followed by Q&A sessions.
To get started, watch the Expert Interview Videos or our Tutorial Videos at your convenience.
Arctic Rich Video
This video explains different steps we suggest to follow in order to reach a rational decision by using all the information and tools available at our disposal.
We highly recommend your taking to watch this video clip.
Step 1: How would I Use the Phone?
It is essential to think through your potential purpose and use of the phone in order to assess the functionalities you need. Our goal is not to subscribe the features we do not need or to frequently go over our subscribed limits and incur penalties. Both are wastes. We recommend to calculate your actual requirements using following calculators. All carriers now have this feature. Click here or on the following image of Virgin Mobile to be directed to the calculator:
Step 2: Which Phone do I like?
It is a good practice to look up the expert opinion and options available on the handset you are going to choose. There are a number of dependable research conducted on the quality, durability and functionality of the handsets. After all, this is a big ticket cost for which there must be proportionate search effort.
Click on the price to be redirected to the respective sites to buy directly.
Top Five Budget Phones
How Much RAM We Need?
RAM (Random Access Memory), is memory that stores data for a very short time for a computing device to finish its function.
Any Phone with 2 GB RAM gives 99% lag free experience. Anything above 2 GB is perhaps overkill or simply waste of money. iPhone 6 uses only 2 GB RAM.
1 GB RAM is fine as well although may occasionally compromise performance, such as extended app loading time, visible lags in screen transitions etc. As an average user we are unlikely to notice any difference between 1 GB and 2 GB RAM.
For higher end choices, 4 GB is sufficient. This is no reason to go beyond that.
When buying a smartphone online, particularly from the out of the country sellers, we highly recommend to check, if the chosen phone will work in the Country where it will be used and with the respective Carrier. A website called Will My Phone Work, can look up this information quickly. For example, many phones are described by online retailers as USA Carrier compatible. Similar phones, which are mentioned to be compatible in Canada often charge 20-25% more. There is no need spend the extra, if USA phones work in Canada. Try,
It could be helpful to know, who is who in the phone manufacturing business. Attached chart shows top four phone manufacturers in the world. Samsung was the highest selling smartphones in the first quarter of 2017, with 26% market share worldwide. Apple was at the second place with 17% market share during the period. Two Chinese smartphone manufacturers - Huawei and Oppo, were in the 3rd and 4th place with 11% and 8% market share, respectively.
None of the manufacturers make their own operating system except Apple and RIM (Blackberry). That means the phone set comes down only their processing speed and storage space, which is essentially be called as commodity product. In other words, without own Operating System, it is very hard for a phone manufacturer to differentiate and charge a premium.
As exhibited in the attached chart, Android controls 88% of the Operating System Market. iOs or Apple controls 12%. Microsoft, RIM, Bada, Symbian and others controls only 0.2%.
This is an important information for us as consumers. Since, virtually all phones, which are not Apple, use Android Operating System, their user experience is almost identical. As a result shopping for a brand name does not necessarily translate into a superior experience.
In other words, the extra payment for a brand name is likely to be a complete waste of money.
Step 3: Which Carrier would be best for me?
It is essential that we understand the members of Wireless Carrier Phone Family. All the members of a family shares the same cell phone towers and brand in different names to cover different segment of the market. It makes little or no difference in the quality of signal among different brands.
Ranking of Phone Carriers by number of subscriptions:
Source: Company Reports
Step 3 (Continued): Which Carrier would be best for me?
J. D. Power, One of the most respected firms evaluates the quality of the service of the Canadian Mobile Phone Carriers. We recommend you to have look at those ratings which are simple and easy to understand.
Step 4: Which Plan do I choose?
Bring your own phone packages - Premium Brands
Source: Company Websites.
Premium brands offer better packages. Currently, some of the discount brands are also offering great roaming packages.
We highly recommend to project the travel requirements in conjunction with free or internet based services like Facetime, Viber, Skype, Vonage etc. to make to best use of Free Wifi Hotspots. The word "Home" in the following chart means, "Same as Home Plan".
Home Phone Packages
Home Phone packages are appended:
Home Internet Packages
How Much Speed Do We Need : Maximum for Video Streaming
Click here for a detail estimate of the minimum high speed internet requirements. This is a USA website, use any US Postal Code or 20007.
Click here to check you actual and current internet speed.
Maintenance: Paying Bills On Time
It is important to pay the phone bills on time. We not only lose points in our credit score for late payments but also pay a very high interest rate on the amount outstanding. Few of the late payment interest rates of the major carriers are appended below, which justifies even temporarily borrowing form our line of credit to pay the bills.
Late Payment Charges : Phone
Note: Click on the names to be redirected to the respective sites.
Relevance of Home Phone
Home Phone is no longer a must have in our home. 21% of Canadians have cell phone only (2013). In USA, it is even higher at 38.2% (2014) according to New York Times. 60.6% of the households in Canada aged 35 or under have only cell phone in their home and the trend is increasing as mentioned in the following chart.
Some of the advantages of having a Home Phone are:
Emergency Call: 911 can locate a call from a landline phone better as the address of the subscriber displays on their screen.
Clear Conversation: Crystal clear connection round the clock.
Home Protection: Home security systems work only through a landline phone.
Mobile Messenger Apps
Home Phone packages are appended:
Best Buy will stop selling Huawei smartphones
Best Buy has stopped ordering new phones from China's biggest smartphone maker and will stop selling its products. It's already shut out by the US carriers. Best Buy's decision was also reported by Reuters and CNET.
Commissioner for Complaints for Telecom-Television Services.
This is a Government Resource to help resolve any outstanding issue with Service Providers. Click here to be redirected to their site.