What is the recommended acquisition strategy for having multi-platform, service-connected devices for mobile developers? Is it necessary to have separate phone numbers and service plans for each platform? My guess is that having a Droid, iPhone and Windows 7 phones all on the same plan and same phone number is out.
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My general strategy is to use a carrier that uses SIM cards, so the phone number is tied to the SIM, not the phone. Purchase phones (new or off eBay) and all you have to do is move the SIM to change phones. Works for Win7, WinMo and Droid. I suspect is will with iPhone as well, but I haven't specifically tested that so I can't certify it works.
I believe, you can easily own Windows Phone 7 and Android devices off contract. As these devices are way cheaper & the reason why I think buying these devices off contract is better is, you need to have multiple devices for each of these platforms to check the compatibility of your application.
For iPhone, owning one latest and one of the previous model on contract makes sense. As iPhone is quite cheaper on contract and also you don't really have to look for the compatibility issues as you've to do with the other mobile platforms.
I find this way more comfortable and I do the same.