The answer to this question might depend on the answer to another: how important is it to get a new handset frequently to keep up with technology? If the answer is “desirable but not essential”, the chances are that new SIM only packages could turn out to be highly attractive. SIM only packages are ideal for people who already have a handset they’re happy with and don’t mind passing over the latest techno-fads for the time being.
The truth is that the market in SIM only packages has been evolving in very savvy directions, keeping abreast of consumer requirements very intelligently. For those who think that a SIM only deal just offers a tightly limited number of calls and text messages, there’s only one reply: get real. That might have been true in the 1990s but it is certainly not true today.
Although many SIM only customers are young and either don’t have the income or the bank account to support a contract, they are by no means the only people attracted to these deals. However, they have played a big part in shaping new packages as they spend a lot of their time on their smartphones, not only making calls but also sending copious texts and hopping online to look at Facebook or other social networking sites. And that means that SIM only deals now typically offer generous broadband internet data allowances as well as calls and texts, usually at a fraction of the cost of contract deals.
Of course, it is not just the young who are interested in low cost versatility deals for their mobile phones. In these austere times, the wish to lower costs and monitor expenditure as it happens rather than be clobbered with a hefty bill at the end of the month appeals to people of all ages. And SIM only deals are invariably considerably lower in cash terms than contract deals.
They’re also exceptionally flexible. Not only are generous allowances available, users aren’t tied in to a network they’re actually not at all happy with for huge swathes of time. With SIM only packages, if a network offends in some way, you can simply drop it and go elsewhere at the drop of a hat (well, within 30 days, usually).
Because the handset needs to be unlocked to switch over to a SIM only package (say, after a contract has expired), users also end up with far lower costs when they travel abroad. Forget those eye-watering international roaming fees that contracts blithely thwack their customers with; just slip a local SIM card in after arrival at the holiday destination and the phone will hook up to local networks at a fraction of the cost.
It is always a good idea for potential SIM only customers to work out very carefully their typical monthly phone, text and internet usage first so that they can select the most fitting package. As long as usage tallies regularly with the limits in the package chosen, the costs are likely to be substantially lower than any contract deal. In addition, it’s more like using a taxi service than entering a marriage contract: if it isn’t up to scratch, drop it and find another one.
About Jakk: Jakk Ogden is the founder of Technology Blogged. 23, with a love for good writing, you'll find Jakk playing 'Drag Racing' on his Nexus 5 and rocking a pair of Grado headphones. If you love technology, be sure to subscribe to his feed for unique editorials. View author profile.