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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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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jun 26 '11 at 13:43

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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.

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I hope you don't mean a NEW Windows Phone or Android device off contract! The new ones are hardly cheap (several hundred dollars at least). If you mean used, then you can buy any phone used and use it, you just won't be able to use services that the phone company gives you (phone, text, internet). I have an old blackberry (probably early 2000's) I got off Ebay that is effectively a handheld gaming device that can only play breakout (since I was too cheap to get the blackberry plan with Verizon) –  Jetti Jun 29 '11 at 12:48
    
I mean the most COMMON Windows Phone 7 and Android devices.. As your app will be working on the most common devices out there. I mean, majority is using cheap devices and hence those are your consumers out there. If you manage to make your app work on these devices, you're expected to get enough user base. If you're very specific about targeted audience, like in case you're developing game of some graphic intensive apps, then you must be looking at high-end devices. If you're targeting at high-end devices then consider your audience is quite less.. –  Mohammad Abdurraafay Jun 29 '11 at 13:08
    
The reason the phones are cheap is because the cell phone providers subsidize the phones in order to get you on their plan. However, there are non-contract phone companies that offer plans and cheaper phones. –  Jetti Jun 29 '11 at 13:12
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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.

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it will work provided your phone is unlocked or all phones were purchased for the same carrier. –  Newtopian Jun 26 '11 at 14:04
    
Just did an online chat with Verizon. The rep said the only Droid they have which uses SIM cards is the Droid 2 Global. Still, this is more than I had expected. Thanks, ctacke! (I'd vote you up but I'm new and my rep isn't high enough yet.) –  Michael Mangold Jun 26 '11 at 16:52
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Yeah, that's a Verizon thing, which is why I dropped them a decade ago. Good coverage but legacy technology. –  ctacke Jun 26 '11 at 19:03
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