If your smartphone can use WiFi to send texts, make calls and run apps, then why should you be paying for your mobile phone service?
That’s what Scratch Wireless is asking.
The mobile phone startup has set out to build an entirely new phone company from the ground up offering a unique way to save money on your mobile data plan.
The company’s solution is a WiFi only phone that uses the Internet connections available to you, meaning your data transfer is free. That is, at least as long as you can find a wireless open network.
Scratch teamed up with Coolpad to create its first smartphone, the Coolpad Arise. The Coolpad Arise probably won’t be a step up from your current smartphone.
It has a 4-inch touchscreen display, 2-megapixel camera, and runs Android 4.4 KitKat. But you can buy it for just $99 and Scratch promises you will never have to pay for mobile again.
You might be wondering how Scratch plans to deal with those times when WiFi just isn’t available. The company has made a deal with Sprint to offer passes customers can purchase to gain cellular access to Sprint’s nationwide network.
The passes can be purchased right from the Coolpad Arise, just in case customers find themselves needing cellular in a pinch. Scratch says texting is always free, whether on WiFi or cellular, but customers can buy passes for voice or data.
Voice passes start at $1.99 and offer unlimited cellular access for 24 hours. Similarly data passes also start at $1.99 and offer 50MBs for 24 hours. There are also 30-day passes you can purchase if you know you might be without WiFi for awhile.
But Scratch doesn’t think this will be a problem. The company claims its customers are WiFi connected 84 percent of the time.
The service Scratch offers seems to be a trade off between having a better smartphone or a budget conscious mobile plan. But for those who would rather pay little-to-nothing to use their phone, Scratch and the Coolpad Arise might be right up their alley.
Image: Scratch Wireless