I’m seeing a bunch of headlines today that say things like The iPhone Gets Faster and Cheaper.
Well, maybe. if all you look at is the initial cost. I paid $399 for Judy’s iPhone last December, and the new model would be only $199. So, that’s $200 less, right?
Not if you look at the total cost. Here, do the math with me:
An iPhone without a data plan is worthless. In fact, you are required to purchase a data plan from AT&T with your iPhone. The iPhone data plan on our current account is $20 a month for unlimited use plus 200 text messages. But the data plan for the new phone is $30 a month (in addition to a voice package of $40 per month or more) and requires a two-year contract. So, at $10 a month, times 24 months, that’s an extra $240 you’re required to pay over the life of the contract, which wipes out the $200 savings and then some.
Update: Kevin C. Tofel points out that the 200 included text messages go away as well. Judy and I actually use that capability a fair amount. At 20 cents per message, we might rethink it.
If you’re a business user, the unlimited data plan in the U.S. costs $45 a month. That’s not a price increase. But it’s a lot of money.
And when the new iPhone comes out on July 11 you will be able to buy it only in retail stores (no more mail order sales), and activating the thing will be possible only in brick-and-mortar stores as well. Presumably this will cut down on the number of unlocked phones in circulation, or at least make them more expensive.