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Three cheap alternatives to $40 iPhone stands

Looking for a free (or at least inexpensive) way to prop up your iPhone or iPod Touch? These three stands get the job done, and not one of them costs more than 10 bucks.

Whether you're watching a movie on an airplane or interacting with your iPhone while it's charging on your desk, some kind of stand is essential. That's why I read David's Mobile Xtand review with great interest.

Pretty cool product--but $40? That's way too rich for my Cheapskate blood. Fortunately, there are iPhone stands that cost significantly less--and some that cost nothing at all. Here's a look at three way-cheaper alternatives:

  • The business-card stand Far and away my all-time favorite, this 60-second Instructables project turns any business card (the thicker, the better) into a perfect little stand. It can return to your wallet when not in use, and it has an unbeatable price. Be sure to read the accompanying comments for lots of other DIY ideas.
  • The Crabble OK, it has arguably the worst product name since the Sony Clie. But this cool $4.99 stand is essentially a hard-plastic version of the previous one, and it can hold your iPhone for either portrait or landscape viewing. Plus, it folds flat, so it's just as wallet-friendly. See it in action in the above video.
  • MovieWedge The bean-bag chair meets the iPhone. This soft-sided, microsuede-covered stand is ideal for uneven surfaces--including your dashboard, for those times when your iPhone is pulling double duty as your GPS. It's $9.95.

OK, your turn: What's your preferred method of propping up your iPhone?