Mobile companies still are trying new things to lure the rest of you who haven't joined the throngs. If you haven't shut yourself off from the idea of smartphone ownership-- or you're helping a parent or grandparent decide-- these new features or tips may be what it takes.
At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
- Make use of your local mobile store and ask employees for help. Sprint's
"Ready Now" service makes sure every new phone customer doesn't leave without a store employee offering to transfer contacts, set up email and walk through all the features of the new phone.
- Look for an "easy" smartphone. Various companies offer uncluttered smartphones to lessen confusion for newbies. Fonts and icons tend to be larger, and a limited number of apps can be customized on the home screen. But you still have access to all the apps and features of a regular smartphone:
- Take a free class at the local Apple
or Microsoft store. Check with your mobile provider too. Verizon Wireless offers online and in-store workshops on getting started with a smartphone. More details at verizonwireless.com/workshops
- Find a cheaper smartphone and plan. There are unlimited data plans out there for as little as $35 a month (at pre-paid mobile provider Virgin Wireless). That's a big savings from where monthly prices were just a few years ago. Over at T-Mobile
, the carrier now offers contract-free smartphone plans, starting at $50. Some of these offerings may limit speeds after hitting a certain megabyte, but overall, it's a cheaper way to get started on a smartphone.