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“Real” price of the iPhone

Posted by g3tech on June 27, 2007

Well, here’s the bad news: it’s $60 USD/month for 450 minutes, $80 USD/month for 900 minutes, or $100 USD/month for 1350 minutes. If that’s not enough minutes, then you can pay $220 USD/month for a crazy 6000 minutes!

The good news: ALL plans include unlimited email and web, rollover minutes, unlimited mobile-to-mobile, and 200 text messages a month. And, all plans, except the cheapest plan, include unlimited nights and weekends (the cheapest plan only gets 5000 minutes of those).

Is this a good deal? Let’s see. AT&T’s cheapest voice-only plan costs $40 a month for 450 minutes, 5000 nights and weekend minutes, and no data services at all. (And text messages are about 15 cents a pop.) Add $20 a month for unlimited web. For the $60 of the iPhone’s cheapest plan, you can get AT&T’s 900-minute plan with no data service.

Looking at it another way, AT&T’s Messaging Unlimited plan costs $20 a month extra. Its unlimited messaging and media plan (which gives you access to cellular video as well) costs another $40 a month. The company has a bunch of plans for web browsing phones. The closest to what the iPhone gets you is the SmartPhone Max, at $30 extra per month.

Putting it all together, designing  a comparable plan to iPhone’s $60 service on AT&T with a non-iPhone device would actually cost about $70 a month. Believe it or not, iPhone service is actually a bargain!

On the other hand, $60 a month or more isn’t cheap. Over the life of the phone that equates to $1,440. Add in the price of the phone and activation fees and the cheapest amount you’ll spend on an iPhone over the next two years is $1,975. WOW! (And don’t forget the cancellation fee you’ll pay on your old phone…)



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