This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Smart Ways Smartphone Makers Are Attracting Basic Phone Users

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The world has left you behind and you're still holding onto that mobile flip phone. The higher cost, complexity or desire to be connected 24 hours a day has made smartphones unattractive and needless for 40% to 55% of the U.S. population.

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.

  • Make use of your local mobile store and ask employees for help. Sprint's (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:
    1. The new Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone includes the option to go into "Easy Mode," which is simpler interface with a clock, weather and date and six of the most used functions. There are only three screens, also with limited space for apps. Icons and fonts are larger.
    2. The Pantech Flex One uses the Android "Easy Experience" mode and has just one home screen. All the most commonly-used features are on it: Phone, Camera, Messages, and Menu, plus date, time and weather.
    3. The Jitterbug Touch is another phone targeting older adults. It's a full-fledged Android smartphone but the interface keeps things simple and large - everything is in list form.
  • Take a free class at the local Apple (AAPL) or Microsoft (MSFT) store. Check with your mobile provider too. Verizon (VZ) 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 (TMUS), 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.


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.

Tamara Chuang is an outside contributor to TheStreet. Her opinions are her own.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,943.81 +28.74 0.17%
S&P 500 1,967.57 +2.89 0.15%
NASDAQ 4,415.49 +19.2860 0.44%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs