With Father’s Day just around the corner you may be thinking what to buy for your dad this year. How about something mobile related? There are tons of options out there and here I’ll try to give you a general idea of some cool gifts. We’ll start with the most expensive option and go all the way to something free. I won’t, however, include gold-plated gadgets in the list as I really don’t see them as gifts most people will buy for their dads. Rather I’ll be talking about mainstream products and services, the majority of our readers can afford. Let’s roll, shall we?
The most expensive option – a tablet
Price wise, tablets top this list. You can go for a Wi-Fi only device or grab a 3G-enabled tablet with or without a carrier contract. To be honest I don’t get the “contract thing” for a gift. It’s like you bought someone a liability rather than a “pure” gift. Just imagine buying a tablet for your dad which also comes with $70 a month plan. Your dad could say something like: “Well thanks son, your ‘gift’ will cost me $840 per year. With sons like you, who needs enemies?” Pretty hilarious, right?
Alternatively, you may want to pick up the tab and pay for your dad’s contract every month in which case we’re talking about a gift that could cost more than $1500. If you can afford another carrier contract (presuming you already have one), good for you. For the rest of us, a $500 or so Wi-Fi tablet is good enough and there are quite a few options available, including the Apple iPad 2, Motorola Xoom, Asus Transformer, HTC Flyer to name the few. You won’t miss with any of those.
The second most expensive option – smartphone
Sitting just below tablets are smartphones. Again the problem here is a carrier contract and again you could be trapped to buy your dad a liability rather than a gift.
We’ve already heard T-Mobile USA will give away 10 HTC Sensation units for the Father’s Day and we’re sure other operators will follow with similar deals. Usually we’re talking about a $200 investment upfront with the mentioned carrier contract. Alternatively, there are unlocked, SIM-free smartphones that are much more expensive.
If you want to follow the trends, it comes to selecting between the iPhone 4 and some Android smartphone. At the moment, all major carriers have solid portfolio of Android devices and it’s pretty much about choosing the right screen size and the design of the phone. If you want to keep your dad up to date, make sure the phone rocks a dual-core processor.
Or a feature phone?
Not every dad is into technology, older dads especially, who may be overwhelmed by all the features modern smartphones offer. Luckily there are some handset makers that specialize in making super easy to use phones for the senior population. Such devices come with large keys, big screen and quick call buttons.
Jitterbug is one of the most popular makers of phones for seniors and for the Father’s Day they’re offering 50% off on all phones along with free shipping. Prepare to pour out around $50 if you take this route.
Mobile phone accessory perhaps?
Good mobile accessory is usually worth every penny you paid for it. If you’ve been using more expensive Bluetooth headsets you know what I’m talking about — noise cancellation, usually powered by dual-microphone technology, rocks. There are quite a few great accessories available out there. Aside from the mentioned Bluetooth headset, you could go for a car speakerphone, some fancy case, external keyboard and so on. Depending what you’re looking to buy, you’ll end up paying anything from $30 to $150, maybe even more. You know your dad best so you should figure out what kind of accessory he wants.
How about a mobile service?
This option is more budget-friendly than the first two but also “requires” a high-tech dad who will know to appreciate such a gift. Three services instantly come to mind – Evernote, some task management app like Remember The Milk and a music-streaming service such as Pandora. With the Premium features these services offer, your dad will get much more. Notably, Evernote will give him more space and offline storage, Remember The Milk – task syncing throughout the day, and a music service – song downloads. As I said, this isn’t something for every dad but I’m sure some dads will love it. Prepare to pay anything from $20 per year to $10 per month.
Mobile apps anyone?
A single mobile app is not exactly a cool gift, but if your dad has the iPhone 4, you could get him the iTunes voucher or gift him as many apps as you want. Similarly if you make your dad install Amazon Appstore on his Android smartphone, grab him a gift card to buy apps. Alternatively, just login to his account on the app store he uses, add your credit card information and buy all the apps you want.
I’m not sure what kind of apps I would suggest you buy to your dad. You can always grab popular games, some of which could easily keep him entertained for quite some time.
Free option – a phone call
Finally make sure to call your dad. Even if you don’t buy a thing for him, he’ll certainly appreciate to hear your voice. What’s more – go visit him if you can and spend some time together. I’m not a therapist or something, it’s just the common sense – most of us lead busy lifestyles and often forgot to dedicate time and energy to people we care about the most…
[#1 Dad image from wondercliparts.com]