Throwback Thursday - Disposable Cellphones

Published: Feb. 17, 2023 at 10:05 AM EST
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In the throwaway culture of the 90′s and early 2000′s convenience was key. We had disposable silverware, disposable cameras and maybe even disposable cellphones? NewsSource8′s Brian Bouchard has this week’s Throwback Thursday.

Today in America there are 108 cell phones for every 100 people, according to World Development Data from The World Bank. however back in the early days of cell phone adoption, companies tried various methods to entice customers into the digital age. In this week’s Throwback Thursday we dial the Time Machine back to 2002 where WAGM Reporter Shawn Cunningham gives us a look into a technology that never really caught on, Disposable Cell Phones

As a whole cell phones have become a normal part of our everyday lives. Now our multi colored, multi purpose little companions are about to get some competition. There’s some new kids coming on the block and what makes them unique is that they don’t stick around, they’re disposable. Disposable cell phones are about to hit the market nation wide starting next month, touting so called cheaper rates in service for consumers who want to one time buy these phones up front, but local retailers aren’t buying that these phones are a better deal.

“These disposable cell phones are under the category of pre-paid cell phones which are a lot more expensive per minute than normal plans. Normal plans can run you, for instance, on a 3500 minute plan, they’re 35 dollars which is a cent a minute, where some prepaid phones are up to 80 cents a minute.” says Garrett Cushman - Cushman’s at the Mall/Unicel

Companies like Hop-On Wireless will distribute the disposable phones for about 30 dollars in stores like K-Mart. Equipped with 60 prepaid minutes they might be a novelty to some, but how do they measure up to regular cell phones as far as service?

“The capabilities are they run off the towers, towers are scattered statewide as far as Unicel and nationwide we use other peoples towers, other businesses.” says Cushman.

And you can only make calls on disposable cell phones not receive them.

So even though disposable phones haven’t made it to the counter yet Cushman says he’s not worried, if and when, they do. He’s confident that the product he sells will keep his customers satisfied and loyal.

“We do have prepaid, our prepaid here is as low as 15 cents a minute and you pay for the phone once instead of having to rebuy a cellphone over and over again at the cost of the cellphone if you’re just going to throw it away, so like I said, it’s not a bother.”

Shawn Cunningham, NewsSource8