iPad Mini as an iPhone Replacement?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by tacos1799, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. tacos1799 macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2012
    Hello. I was recently thinking of upgrading to the iPhone 5 from a previous generation iPhone. However, after seeing the release of the iPad Mini, an interesting thought hit me. Could the iPad Mini (Verizon/AT&T) be used as a cell phone replacement using Skype for making phone calls, and a free texting app for messaging? So I am now trying to decide as to whether to go with the iPhone 5 or the iPad Mini (Cellular Version) as a primary cell phone. Here are the main reasons why I was thinking of using the Mini.
    Significantly larger screen
    Cheaper to upgrade (I would be paying the full retail price for the iPhone 5)
    Easier to keep track of
    Does anyone see any major flaws with the Mini as a cell phone (excluding the fact that it is a tad awkward as a cell phone which isn't really a concern for me.)? Any input is appreciated. Thanks.
  2. thelead macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2010
  3. Poochi, Oct 25, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012

    Poochi macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2010
    iMessage/e-mail if they want to talk to you

    Magic Jack / Skype/ Line etc etc for VoIP voice calls.

    phone number is outdated and not necessary anymore.


    Only flaw is when you need 911, or you want to be contacted by traditional means... eg... doctor's office, dentists, banks, telemarketers, your grandma etc... who are still using traditional phone number.

    IMO, an LTE iPad mini is portable enough and good enough to replace a phone as long as you don't need to receive calls.


    Actually, does Skype # not work on an iPad?
  4. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
  5. BFizzzle macrumors 68020


    May 31, 2010
    Austin TX

    yeah skype, googlevoice. etc. several VOIP clients out there.
  6. tbone32aduro macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2012
    iPad Mini as an iPhone Replacement?


    First time here and I have no tech degree. Regarding using VOIP one would have to be in an area where there is more than just voice. Meaning one would have to be in an area that also is Data, 3 or 4G correct? I have not required a smartphone in the past decade as I just had a cell phone with keypad and a HP PDA back then. dde to my location(s) there 90% no good data service available and not even voice everywhere. Plus one would have to pay data charges I assume as well unless they have a unlimited data plan, correct?

    However, I will make trips twice a month for a couple days and then would need a data device and prefer to have only one device and not use one for a hotspot and I don't like public wi-fi for security reasons.

    I am curious is there anyway to add a sim card or something to that effect? I will be in a unique situation where this setup would be handy.

    I like the idea of the Samsung Galaxy Note II coming in with a 5.5" screen and quad core 1.6Ghz... and the smart stylus, etc. Does not come loaded with the good application for pics like the iPhone even though it is an 8 mega-pixel camera. Apps can be purchased. However, it's not an Apple product & I prefer to stick with mac. But, the iPhone is only 4" and for my specific purpose one device with a large screen, fast, expandable memory as I won't always have cloud access and I like a replaceable battery. I suppose if Apple went the with a phablet, memory card, swappable battery they may think the common person will compare it to other products. However, for me personally mac iOS is superior especially for compatibility to my iMac. The Dell Streak had a good idea, but could not execute a good device and they are/were Dell.

    Therefore, I am considering the Samsung Galaxy Note II or the iPhone 5 and a tablet for my purposes. It would just be simpler to have a larger iPhone screen and some of the Note II features and only have to carry one device for my use. Plus everyone complains, "I don't want to hold a huge phone to my ear". And I say "why are they holding a phone to the side of the brain and cooking it?" I just use a bluetooth or wired headsets anyway. And yes I have a man bag. Go ahead and make some jokes about my man bag and the rest of this post if you don't hear where I'm coming from, I can take a joke.

    Any reasonable suggestions appreciated, thanks much!
  7. Anti-Lucifer macrumors 6502a

    Mar 9, 2012
    sound like you desperately seeking a "phablet".

    The side with the green garbage can mascot has what you are seeking! It's called the note 2.
  8. BigCanoe macrumors 6502

    Jan 13, 2003
    I see 911, but why cant you give your Skype number or Googletalk number to the doctor's office? Naive question having used neither :)
  9. BFizzzle macrumors 68020


    May 31, 2010
    Austin TX
    yep voice over I.P. Gotta have data. most VOIP services use around .5mb per minute. some with higher quality codecs like G.726 will use about .75 mb a minute
  10. SHirsch999 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2011
    This is what I did for a while with an iPad before getting an iPhone. Works fine except when you need to call a company that has a multiple choice chain to get anywhere. That was pretty frustrating. You can also get a prepaid dumb phone to make and receive calls instead of using the tablet. You would have to carry around 2 devices, but if you are carrying a tablet everywhere, even an iPad mini, you likely have enough room to also carry a small flip phone.
  11. kristoffer4 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 17, 2006
  12. whyrichard macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2002
    I am thinking of doing the same thing. Wouldn't this also be a much cheaper solution? Especially for those who don't use voice too much to begin with...

    Could you use an iPad mini sim in an iPhone or when you want a small form factor?

  13. Scouse macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2008
    Viber & whatsapp

    Not too sure if Viber and whatsapp will work for voice and chat.

    I am also considering replacing my iphone 4 with the Ipad mini. Reason being that I have a work cell phone so mainly use the Iphone for Apps and data.
    Hoping that it would reduce the amount I have to pay AT&T.

    Anyone know how the data plans work with AT&T?
  14. Scouse macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2008
  15. cloud25 macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2006
    I wouldn't call it a replacement but it's certainly capable of many things an iPhone can do, at the cost of many inconveniences.

    At the end of the day, a phone is a phone, a tablet is a tablet. You can do it if you don't mind the troubles. But as someone who has to make so many calls from school and/or work, it's somewhat ridiculous to go that route.
  16. whyrichard macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2002
    Google voice...
  17. mellofello macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2011
    VoIP has its limitations. I used Skype in Europe and it worked great 70% of the time. The other 30% was super garbly and dropping calls. The other limitation is that there is no tower handoff with VoIP. As you are driving the towers are constantly doing soft transfers as you get in, and out of range. With data there is a very abrupt drop as you reconnect with each tower.

    It would be very frustrating. I wish they just let you get a voice plan. I would be fine with just using a Bluetooth headset.
  18. tacos1799 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2012
    The plans for AT&T are as follows:
    250 MB - $15 per month
    3 GB - $30 per month
    5 GB $50 per month
    8 GB $80 per month

    I personally would prefer Verizon though, due to their more extensive coverage and the fact that their iPad plans include free mobile hotspot whole AT&T doesn't. Unless of course AT&T coverage happens to be better in your area in which case that makes much more sense.
  19. Dreamail, Oct 28, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012

    Dreamail macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2003
    I do. While the iPad 3 has LTE, it is not supported everywhere and I end up on 3G a lot. For VOIP 3G seems just fine. Not nearly as taxing as video chats, yet even video chats work reasonably. Some stuttering when you move while the video call is in progress. If you move fast, e.g. on train or car, then calls can interrupt sometimes and you have to call back. Did not find this a problem while walking.
    Skype calls or Facetime work great on 3G as long as you have enough signal coverage.

    The real problems are more the inherent limitations of this setup.
    - You need friends that are OK to send emails instead of SMSs.
    - Then you need to check your emails constantly at times when you are about to meet friends - as they might just email you that they're late or ask you where you are or where the meeting place is, etc.
    - Also some companies have issues when you are not able to provide a phone number but just an email address. Ran into those a few times.
    If you do not have a Skype number you could give them your work phone number, if you have one and if it is OK to receive personal calls there. (Which is what I do).
    But this might not work in all situations for you.

    I am on this setup since about 6 months.
    Stopped using my old iPhone 3G and have not yet upgraded to a 4S or 5, or any other mobile phone for that matter. I might never.

    I found that on the whole a constant Internet connection is more important to me than a phone connection. So I decided to get an iPad with 4G/3G instead of an iPhone as the Internet experience, even on the iPhone 5 due to its much smaller screen is a lot worse IMHO. As an Internet device the iPad is still the best iDevice.

    So far I am OK. But it is not always convenient, I admit that. Yet it saves me having to pay for 2 monthly phone contracts (iPhone + iPad) or saves me having to carry another personal WiFi module (that I need to worry about charging and bringing separately etc.).

    I actually think that this is the future. A mobile Internet device, likely a 7" or 10" tablet, with a bluetooth headset (or earphones with mike) and a phone number attached to the device. Much rather than a mobile phone.
    For now, perhaps, with my setup I am a bit ahead of times. It might be too early.
  20. whyrichard macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2002
    i think i am with you sir...

    regarding the downsides you mentioned... consider getting a google voice number. it ties in with your gvoice chat and there are many ios programs that use the service. it will allow you to have a normal phone number to sms from, receive to, dial from, and receive voice calls to.

    i think when my contract is up on my 4s i may just jump att and go data with the mini.

  21. MacDaniel2004 macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2009

    I'm confused. I thought Google Voice just gave you a phone number that when dialed, rang all your other phone numbers. But since there is no phone/phone number attached to an iPad mini, how does Google Voice ring on the iPad mini?
  22. siurpeeman macrumors 603


    Dec 2, 2006
    the OC
    you need another app to make/receive calls like talkatone. the google voice app on its own won't do it.
  23. corvus32 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    I use line2. Works great, and I have a real phone number.
  24. alzapa macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2008
    I have already put a plan in motion to replace my iphone with a idea kind of along the line of yours.

    I am using a normal cheep phone on a prepaid plan; and I am paying 30$ a month on that for unlimited text and talk. And I will be adding my mini soon which will add 20$ a month for data from Verizon. Saving over 600$ a year on my stupidly over priced Iphone plan I had with AT&T :)

    I say go for it and replace that phone if saving money is your motivation, but if its convenience I would stay with the Iphone. I like your ideas with calling with skype and stuff, but it seems so much easier to just buy a cheep phone and have a real number.
  25. famous600 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 8, 2010
    Excellent thread. I currently have my unlocked att iPhone 5 for sale to go the ipad mini LTE route because I NEVER make/receive calls.

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