I was talking to a friend that I recently met and she knew that am a tech savvy person and so she asked me whether it’s possible to get an iPhone without having to sign up with AT&T and the reason is that she just dislikes their network offering and prices yet she’s so eager to own that cool Apple device.
After thinking for a while, I gave her three options:
- Get an iPod Touch [aka iTouch]
- Or Get a jailbroken iPhone
- Or Wait for a while as there are big rumors that iPhone is coming to Verison next year
Her answers were:
- I still want to make phone calls
- I don’t want to engage in something “illegal”
- I don’t want to wait and I don’t believe in rumors!
So obviously I could not help her out and she left me unhappily…
When I came back home I was still thinking of her question, and finally I’ve got a better idea
You can still use the iPod Touch as a phone
iPod Touch is equipped with WiFi and there is a dedicated free Skype app that you can install on it and it would allow making FREE and LOW COST phone calls both country wide and even internationally.
All you need is:
1) A second generation iPod Touch: this is important because the first generation devices has no microphone support. Note that we are talking here about the device itself [hardware] not the new iPhone 3.0 OS. How to tell the difference? Second generation devices has contoured design and oval shaped antenna over the left upper back corner compared with a squared one of the first generation.
2) A simple mic and head phone: pretty much all compatible with iPod as it has the standard 3.5 mm jack, check this Amazon page for a long list of these. Moreover, if you upgrade your iTouch’s OS to the latest iPhone 3.0 OS you can even pair it with a wireless bluetooth headset [check Amazon options] making calls conveniently without the hassle of wires.
That’s it you are good to go…
- If you are worried about receiving calls not only making calls then Skype can give you an online number that people can dial and call you on. You can do that from within the app itself;
- You can even use your iPod Touch to send SMS text messages! Yes, most carriers support email to SMS. So you can email your text and your friends will receive it in their SMS Inbox. The email address is in this format [your friend's 10 digit phone number including the area code@your friend's carrier messaging domain];
Here are examples of the most common US carriers.
AT&T: email@example.com T-Mobile: firstname.lastname@example.org Verizon Wireless: email@example.com Sprint firstname.lastname@example.org Nextel: email@example.com
Finally my friend was convinced as she has Wifi both at the hospital where she works and at home