Every year we are bombarded with the latest gadgets. There are new tablets we must have to make our lives complete. There is a new phone that has certain features that we cannot live without. There are new plans, and new deals that if we pass up we are just being foolish. At least that is what the marketing campaigns would lead us to believe. Throw in the social stigma for using an “outdated” phone, and many people feel as though they certainly must have the latest and greatest in cell phone technology. But at what cost?
Like all phones, the iPhone comes with a varying price plan depending on whether or not you lock yourself into a new two-year contract or not, and what storage capacity you desire. With a new two year plan you are looking at a minimum of $199 for the most basic model; without a two year plan you are looking at $849 for the 64gb model. If your contract is not up, you will be paying the most for your phone. That is almost $650 alone. This is not to mention the one-time “smart phone upgrade fee” that all the carriers tack on to their plans. If you are switching from a basic phone to a smart phone, get ready to pay an extra $30 on your first bill with the new phone (although I have heard of people negotiating their way out of this).
Regardless of which carrier you use, there are varying prices for varying levels of service. Even the cheapest option, that limits anytime minutes to 450, will still be $100 per month. And that doesn’t even include a lot of data, throw on an extra 2Gb and you’re looking at closer to $150.
There are a lot of apps out there that are free. However, there are many that cost money. While $1 here and there does not sound like a lot, it can add up quickly. Buy just a handful of apps per month and you can see your bill increase by over $100 in your first year of owning the phone.
Everyone wants to protect their investment. And with a sticker price of $649+ most people will do so. That means getting a new case. Depending on brand and purchasing location the case can cost upwards of $100. Obviously the smart thing to do here is shop around. For my phone I got a no-name brand one from China that claims to be water-proof and dust-proof for just $15. You must also consider adapters, car chargers, arm-bands (if you are a runner), and various other “must haves” for your phone.
Upgrading from a smart phone to another smart phone after your contract is up will not see nearly as great an increase in costs as upgrading from a “dumb” phone to a smart phone in the middle of your contract. However, there are always costs, and with every new gadget and invention there are ways of driving up the price here and there until before you know it, that new iPhone is costing you over $1,800. I remember my first cell phone was free and I paid $35 per month for a plan that included unlimited text messages.