Do all smart phones require a data plan?

By sidekick ·
I am in need of replacing my phone and thought I would get my first smartphone. I wanted to stick with Verizon, so I chose the HTC Ozone as it had good reviews, I could get it for free with all my discounts, and it had WiFi. I don't want to pay for a data plan, don't need to be constantly connected, and nievely thought that I could just use WiFi when it was available. When I tried to order the phone, there was no option for no data plan. I inquired with Verizon and they responded:

"Blackberries and other PDA and Smart Phones are designed to be always-on data devices. There is no way to completely block the phone from accessing the data network without crippling other features of the phone. If we allowed activation of these devices without an appropriate data feature, customers could be subject to extremely high data charges."

Personally, I think it is rediculous that the data connection over Verizon's network cannot be disabled, and that if I am aware certain features will be crippled without a data plan and choose to go that route anyway, it should be my choice to make. I also think it should be possible, at least from a technical standpoint, to have email or whatever set to only work when there is a WiFi connection. I'm not an expert in this area, so I could be wrong, but it seems more like a ploy to sell services than a technical limitation.

Does anyone know if other carriers have these same requirements/limitations with their smartphones? Am I just being an idiot?

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All Answers

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Blackberries and Verizon

by Triathlete1981 In reply to Do all smart phones requi ...

I've had this conversation with Verizon. We have 15 phone numbers with Verizon, all Blackberries, and we need to pay for the data plan for each one. Verizon said that it's part of BB's contracts with Verizon that every BB user must also have the data plan. No way to get around it.

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This is why the hardware is so cheap.

by seanferd In reply to Do all smart phones requi ...

Subsidized by mandatory service plans, and usually locked in to one provider. (In the U.S., anyway. In other regions, you can pay full price for devices and choose providers and plans at will.)

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I have the same problem

by JamesRL In reply to Do all smart phones requi ...

I wanted a smartphone so I wouldn't carry my PDA and cell at the same time. I don't want email or webbrowsing, I just want my contacts and calendar from outlook, which I can get by syncing with a USB cable.

But I am forced by our provider to buy the minimum $15 a month plan.


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I just ran into the same problem this weekend.

by patrickom In reply to I have the same problem

Talking to a guy at Best Buy who seemed to be a good source of comparative data (i.e., not locked into selling a specific company), my wife and I found last weekend that most carriers are now like this. It's fairly ridiculous, since I've had an older WM phone (a Q) for years and never had any need for a data plan.

The ridiculous thing about this is that bit for bit, voice is WAY more data than "data," but is treated specially.

Somebody on the east coast needs to start a nonprofit cell company adapting a setup like this...

...for data and voice together. Its popularity would spread like wildfire as people realized that life with cell phones doesn't have to suck.

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Well buy the Phone Outright

by OH Smeg In reply to I have the same problem

And plug in the SIM Card from your Voice Only Phone.

I know a few people who are doing this but if you make a mistake and log onto the Internet it's really expensive.


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At least Sprint is not a bully

by sidekick In reply to Do all smart phones requi ...

Sprint would allow me to get the equivelent phone (HTC Snap) without a data plan, and I can request that they block data access for me so I don't accidently get charged for unintended data use. I just wouldn't get a rebate on the phone if I did that. They seem to require a data plan for the Palm Pre, but I think that has something to do with the Pre itself.

I was hoping that if I pushed Verizon hard enough, they would do the same thing. The best Verizon has been able to do is suggest a couple of phones they don't sell anymore, but that maybe I could find online at an auction site or something.

OH Smeg, Thanks for the suggestion on the SIM, but I don't think my current phone has a removable SIM card in it, although I will double check. It sounds like a good idea.

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Depends on the Phone Type I suppose

by OH Smeg In reply to At least Sprint is not a ...

The 3G and older phones have a SIM Card if that is of any help.

I've just had the Wifes Son buy another phone to replace the one he broke and to save messing around he bought the same model in Hong Kong and just slipped out his SIM Card and fitted it to the new one. It's one of the High End Nokia Smart Phones.


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Reponse To Answer

by LitaAlanis In reply to At least Sprint is not a ...

I have tried the same thing. I asked if that would be ok. The lady's responce? NO!
There are no nice phone that I would like to buy that don't require data plan!
This just makes me upset.

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suggestion for "do all smart phones require a data plan"

by macbridge In reply to Do all smart phones requi ...

Work around the problem. My iPhone is no longer on its $70 a month plan BUT in a hot spot, it has everything going except I can't CALL anyone.
I purchased a $100 a year throw away phone for calling, and the iPhone works anytime for addresses, photos and movies, taking notes, calling 911, even angry birds which keeps the kids quiet. Sorry, no calendar without the hot spot.

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