Avoid These Three Smartphone 'Gotchas'

Last Updated Nov 14, 2008 7:29 AM EST

htc-touch-dual.jpgRemember last week's story on how to choose a smartphone? According to Smart Device Central's Jamie Lendino, there are three things to watch out for regardless of which model and OS you choose: the fine print, the extended warranty, and overpriced accessories. Here's an excerpt:
Buy accessories online--not in a wireless carrier's store. Sales representatives in wireless stores love to sell phone gear. After all, these products are packed with high profit margins. That's great for them, but that's also exactly why you should be suspicious. Often you can save plenty of money by firmly saying no to the salesperson. No matter how many extra chargers or hands-free devices they insist you need at the point of sale, head home to Amazon or Newegg and order them online instead.
I'll second that. I'm in the market for a belt-clip case for my new iPhone, and the options at the Apple Store all run about $30 and up. On eBay, however, there are iPhone cases for as little as $10 shipped. And I think the no-brand case I bought for my Palm Centro (again, from an eBay seller) cost $1, plus $5 shipping. Cases, chargers, docks, cables -- all this stuff can be found way cheaper online than in stores. [Buyer Beware]
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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.