With the release of the new iPhone 5, I find myself wondering why on earth a parent would make such a big investment for their teenaged child. Of course there is the fact that since EVERYBODY has one, your own youngster will surely expire if he/she is the only one left at school with “this old stupid phone.” (No matter that you bought it just eight weeks ago.)


I’m basically suspicious of any device which seems to teach children how to abbreviate when they have not yet mastered spelling but, I’m old and cantankerous. I’m probably not expected to support Apple, Inc. in any meaningful way. However…I have come across an interesting list of things which can be effectively replaced by the new iPhone and, as it happens, represent a significant savings. (IF you actually do replace these devices, and IF you sell them on ebay and get your investment back, that is.)


  • The alarm clock (Ten bucks, max.)
  • The Ipod Nano– the new iPhone has one of these built in. (What is an iPod Nano, anyway, and why would I pay $129.00 for it?)
  • VoSKY Touch Videophone for Skype, in case you want to make the video calls we only dreamed about in my childhood. $249.99
  • The Canon Powershot – Since the phone has the camera built-in, you don’t need to look like a tourist with one dangling from your neck. $169.00
  • A telephone – yes. This new device also functions as a cell phone! $39.99
  • A graphing calculator – Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus – $79.99
  • A universal remote – Yes. Even you can control all your devices from the comfort of your iPhone. $19.00
  • A voice recorder – $59.99
  • A Korg Chromatic Tuner – Just in case your guitar becomes out of tune? $19.99
  • A flashlight. $6.99
  • Nintendo – also built in. $149.99
  • Kindle with WiFi – I can’t imagine reading on this itty bitty screen, but what the hay. It’s part of the package and saves you $79.00,
  • Garmin – Your own navigational device. “Recalculating.” $120.00
  • Merriam Webster Dictionary – just in case you get tired of abbreviating. $34.50
  • DVD Player – $74.95


I calculate the value of these items your new iPhone will replace to be in the neighborhood of $1240.00. Of course there are investments you must make for your new iPhone – an iPhone case, for example, is an important little “insurance” policy to keep your nifty new toy from breaking into a thousand pieces when you drop it. And you will drop it.

Perhaps I should reconsider buying one of these for myself. Or not.