Sep 28, 2012
DealExtreme has put an interesting device up for sale: the GPFILE Mini. What this is designed to do is to essentially free a SIM card and mobile services from an actual phone, and instead put it in a hotspot-esque device for iOS and Android devices to use.
This means that hypothetically, instead of using a specific phone, pop the SIM card in this thing, connect the device of choice to the GPFILE Mini via Bluetooth, and it can access the cellular features like calling and data using that connection. So, a tablet could be used as a phone if necessary. Phone breaks? Here's a backup. Have a jailbroken iPhone and want to switch between that Android? Here's an option.
While this does work with iOS, it requires a jailbroken device to install the necessary app and service. Thankfully, Android's openness means there just has to be an app that any device that can install.
Now, this device is Chinese and it may or may not come with English instructions or support in the app, so caveat emptor. It appears to support quad-band GSM, though T-Mobile data may not work until 4G 1900 MHz bands become available in more territories as it requires devices that support the 1700 and 2100 MHz bands that the specs do not support. Sorry. It does support multiple SIM cards, though. DealExtreme is selling the GPFILE Mini for ~$83.60 as of writing.