Total iPhone 2-Year Costs: Charts & Details
On June 26, 2007, Apple and AT&T unveiled the first monthly rate plans for iPhone, answering one of several major unresolved questions prior to the device’s launch. Because readers have been interested in the true “lifetime cost” of iPhone, including both the hardware purchase and any required AT&T service fees, we have assembled these charts to help you learn what you’ll actually pay during the two-year contract time mandated by the companies for iPhone.
According to the companies, iPhone will require a $36 activation fee and the service plan to activate iPhone’s features, including its iPod functionality. Standard data plans will include unlimited use of data services, except for SMS text messaging, which will be limited to 200 messages under all iPhone plans. Additional payments of $10 per month ($240 lifetime) will up you to 1500 messages per month, while $20 per month ($480 lifetime) will give you unlimited SMS text messages. Visual voicemail and rollover minutes are included in all plans, and mobile-to-mobile calling, E-mail and web browsing will be unlimited under all of iPhone’s plans.
The only other difference between iPhone service plans is that the most basic individual service plan includes 5000 night and weekend minutes rather than unlimited minutes, as in all other iPhone individual and family plans. AT&T notes that family plans include only one phone line; extras are available for $30 per month per line.
As the table shows, the minimum amount you can expect to pay for two years of iPhone service, plus a 4GB iPhone, is $1,975. The price goes up to $2,075 with an 8GB iPhone, and higher if you want to add SMS messages or minutes to the basic 450-minute plan. We noted in a prior article that AT&T’s most basic plan offers substantially fewer voice minutes than a comparably priced T-Mobile plan for a Danger Sidekick 3 phone, however, iPhone’s substantially superior data functionality, video features, and Wi-Fi may compensate for the price difference in some users’ minds.
Family plan pricing offers some advantages at higher prices. The basic $80 per month package buys you fewer weekday minutes, but unlimited weekend and night minutes, while $100-$120 packages deliver more weekday minutes for the dollar as well. Your minimum cost of iPhone ownership on a family plan is $2,455, which with 700 minutes is financially the same as buying a 900-minute individual package.
Notably, iPhone users will be charged a $175 cancellation fee to end their contracts—an amount traditionally assessed only when AT&T has subsidized the purchase of a phone, which is not the case here. This may be an option for people who decide mid-cycle that they want to upgrade to a newer model iPhone, but is such a charge reasonable, especially given the high price of the iPhone hardware?
How do these prices stack up in your mind against what you expected? Are they better or worse values for the dollar than you’d hoped? Will you switch to iPhone from your current cell phone, or are the prices too high? We look forward to your comments.
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app
- Opinion: The ‘Grand Experiment’ of shifting to Google Photos
- Mind The Gap: What’s iPad’s Role In An iPhone 6 (Plus) World?
- Editorial: Why I Switched To T-Mobile (And You Might, Too)
- Multi-Editorial: On Apple’s iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus + Apple Watch
- Editorial: Endings And Beginnings
- Universal calls an end to exclusives amid criticisms that Apple Music is hurting the industry
- Apple reveals some of its upcoming AI advancements for the iPhone
- Apple Music’s royalty rates complicate Spotify’s contract negotiations
- iFixit highlights ‘Touch Disease’ affecting many iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models
- Rebranded Nike+ Run Club app adds new tracking abilities
- Apple Music Festival set for Sept. 18-30
- Report: Apple planning three iPhone models for 2017, one with curved OLED display
- Apple investigating after two Foxconn employees died last week
- Apple buys health data startup Gliimpse
- Report: Apple passes on Lyft acquisition
- Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected Bluetooth Toothbrush
- Audeze EL-8 Titanium Over-Ear Headphones
- Defined Corp Dome Stand for Apple Watch and iPhone
- Speck StyleFolio Pencil for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Audeze Sine On-Ear Headphone
- First Alert Onelink Wi-Fi Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm
- Logitech Create 9.7” iPad Pro Keyboard Case
- iDevices Outdoor Switch Power Outlet
- 808 Audio Canz XL Bluetooth Speaker
- Standzout Helix Dock for Apple Watch
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app