The iPhone is a pretty cool gadget. By cleverly combining a computer with a cell phone, the iPhone has basically changed the cell phone industry overnight. And this isn’t just the case in the US. I live in Japan and the market here is now almost completely dominated by smart phones. So why if it’s so great, am I giving mine up? Let me explain.

When I first got my iPhone it was great. It allowed me to make phone calls, connect to all of my social media programs, use Skype, have a decent Japanese program, and not to mention the ability to watch YouTube from bed. It seemed perfect.

However, my love affair was soon ended when I received my first bill. The cost was over triple what I was previously paying. All of a sudden all of those extra features didn’t seem quite as valuable. The idea was that when I was in the house I would use wifi, so I wouldn’t get charged for using data. The problem was that the iPhone switched between the two and my data plan was maxed every month. So in order to make sure this didn’t happen I had to turn off 3G, which meant that I then couldn’t use email.

Now, the problem wasn’t actually with the iPhone, it was with the phone companies. They realized they had something people wanted and could charge a fortune for it. They created all kinds of new plans which REQUIRED you to opt into various services, which weren’t required with other phones even though they accessed data the same way. And since people were so thrilled with their smart phones, no one seemed to care.

After having my iPhone for over two years, I have come to the realization that an iPhone is a cool device. It combines the abilities of a cell phone and a tablet. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do either one if these things as well as the originals. A basic phone costs far less and will allow you to make phone calls easier and cheaper than a smart phone. You also don’t have to worry so much about it getting damaged or lost. I can’t tell you how many times I leave my iPhone in the car (leaving me without a phone) when I go to the beach, for a jog, etc.

Yes, it can be used as a mini tablet, but the screen is too small to make it comfortable to do so. You have to spend too much time scrolling back and forth on the screen.

So yesterday I shut off my iPhone and am back with a regular cell phone. This time I went real simple and my bill is a third of what it was. That will easily save me enough to save up for a tablet in a few months if I choose to do so.

My new cell phone isn’t amazing, but it does something great that my iPhone never did that well: it works as a cell phone.