The data package phone plans are way out of my budget. I have a Samsung Omni 2 that I had to deactivate because the costs were crazy. The phone worked very well for basic usage, Talk, Text, Camera/Video. The internet and apps do not concern me as I'm retired and on a fixed income. The basic phones that are being offered are junk. Why can't I have a nice phone w/o being forced to purchase a data package? This is a very annoying situation that no one in customer service seems willing and/or is unable to provide a satisfactory answer.
... The basic phones that are being offered are junk. Why can't I have a nice phone w/o being forced to purchase a data package? This is a very annoying situation that no one in customer service seems willing and/or is unable to provide a satisfactory answer.
Your perception of "junk" and a "nice phone" are subjective. There are currently 13 basic phones (new) available, and I'm sure if you are willing to go with a pre-owned there are several more. They range from a flip phone, to ones with a slide out qwerty keyboard, to a touchscreen. Camera and video are nice additions, but not crucial to calling and texting, which is all basic phones are going to do.
If you are wanting to take and send high quality pictures and video, you are going to need the data phones. For simple calling and texting, and basic pictures and video(which you said is all you do) then there are phones available. not everyone considers them to be "junk".
Junk? Nice? Subjective is a fair way to describe it, but please don't scold me for having an opinion that may differ from your own and dwell on that aspect of the post. I still would like to know "why" a data plan must be purchased to to activate/use the better phones when usage of the internet/ apps will not be utilized by the consumer. This is the question no one seems to be able/willing to answer. Is it a "technical necessity" for the device or simply a "rule" by the carriers? Again, I only use the phone for basic purposes but the "basic" phones do not fulfill my desire to have a higher quality camera/video/text/talk device. I'm retired and on a fixed income and cannot afford the data plans. Therefore, I am limited to the "basic" phones and their terrible (my opinion) photo and video quality Forget about the nice/junk subjective statements, they are irrelevant to the subject matter. I ask again, "why" is a data plan required for activation ?
The higher end camera / video capabilities are on the higher end phones that require a data plan. Those phones are built for data usage; they are mini computers and must be connected to the data network to function. Whether you choose to use the full range of data capability they provide is up to you.
There used to be a mid-range selection of phones with better cameras that were data-optional, and that mid-range no longer exists. That is the piece that's missing, and I do agree with you, there's a big jump between the basic phones and the higher end data phones. A basic phone with a high end camera does not exist (unless you count the Kin line, but even that is gone, I think).
To answer your question, I don't know. I have never heard an explanation that makes me believe it is absolutely essential that a smartphone have a data connection to function properly. On the other hand, if it is strictly a decision of the providers, I am perfectly OK with that. I suspect they want to move as many customers as possible to smartphones and data plans for business purposes. Requiring a data plan for smartphones is a way to do that. As long as they have a reasonable variety of feature phones for basic use, I think that is a good policy.
My mom has a Droid 2 and never uses data, but she likes the phone and isn't impressed by the basic phone offerings. Rather than buy a basic phone, I suggested she wait to hear the new tiered data prices that are supposed to roll out this summer. I'm hoping she can get a smaller data plan and continue to use the phone she likes. However, I did warn her that the smallest tier may not be any cheaper than the $30 she's paying.
The higher end camera / video capabilities are on the higher end phones that require a data plan. Those phones are built for data usage; they are mini computers and must be connected to the data network to function.
Suzy, that's a lie. Not all phones need to be connected to the data network to function. My daughter used to have an LG enV3, no data plan (because none was required at the time). My wife then purchased the same model (enV3). Even though she had no intention of ever using data (and hasn't used a single MB in 2 years), she was required to purchase an additional data plan, because suddenly Verizon decided that it "needed" a connection to the data network to function. Bullpuckey! 2 identical phones, on the same family share plan, and one "needed" a data plan to function while the other didn't? Wrong.
While the phones MAY be used for data, a dat conection IS NOT REQUIRED for the phone to function. Period.