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Why You Shouldn't Sign-up For a Free iPhone

by Ian Wright

If you are interested in getting free stuff online or anywhere else for that matter you have probably seen offers for free iPods. Immediately following the announcement of Apple Inc. that were going to be producing the iPhone, websites began offering similar promotions for free iPhones to people once they were on sale. The problem with both of these offers is that they are essentially scams.

Websites claiming to offer you a free iPhone usually require you just enter your e-mail address or zip code to see if you qualify. The thing is everyone qualifies, assuming they meet certain minimal requirements. Then you have to complete some combination of offers or refer a certain number of friends to get enough points to redeem your iPhone or other gift of your choice.

The most obvious problem is that the website you register with may be a scam. This is especially a problem for products such as the iPhone that have yet to be released. The website may get lots of people to register and complete the sponsor's offers, only to close right after the official release of the iPhone. While, this is the most common worry of people who are thinking about registering for these offers it is not actually the biggest one.

In fact most websites claiming to be giving away free iPods actually do give them away. They just make it extremely profitable to do so. Thus there is no need to scam people. Since many of the website offering free iPhones today are part of these same companies, they are probably as legitimate as can be in this industry. The main thing to know about these companies is that they make good money from you before they ever send you and iPod, iPhone or any other gift.

You might think that this sounds strange but I will explain. These companies get you to register for certain offers from certain advertisers, which they make money on. Then they force you to refer your friends, who also have to complete these offers for you to get your iPhone. The company makes sure that their cut from the completed offers, more than makes up for the cost of the phone itself. This still might not seem like such a bad deal, after all, you knew that you wouldn't be able to get the iPhone for nothing.

The even bigger problem though is that as more people join it becomes increasingly difficult to refer friends who are interested and not already registered for the offer. Essentially, these schemes are just a variation of a pyramid scheme. While there may be no initial upfront cost, it is still mathematically impossible for the people at the bottom to refer enough people to ever get an iPhone.

Thus, most people end up completing a few offers and referring a few friends (but not enough to qualify), yet get nothing. In the meantime the company that originally offered the free iPhone has gotten rich from these people. Sure the company had to give away a few iPhones but it has more than made up the cost through these other sort of shady tactics.

If you really want an iPhone my recommendation is to wait until they are released and buy it then. Better yet, if you don't mind waiting a few months you will be able to buy slightly used ones at a discount. As I have demonstrated, offers of a free iPhone are at worst a scam and at best extremely difficult if not impossible to complete. Save yourself the stress and worry and just pay for it once it is released. I know it's not free but products like iPhones never really are.

Ian Wright is a recent university graduate who knows the value of getting things for free. He currently runs a Free Samples Newsletter, a list of his Top 10 Best Free Samples, a New Free Samples Blog and a Free Samples Forum. Ian Wright may be contacted at or