Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The 3G iPhone: Not As Cheap As You Think

The new 8 GB 3G iPhone is going to sell for $199. Sweet! I was going to buy one for my wife - who never had a decent phone in her life - when our contract with AT&T expires in November...until I read the fine print that is:
Everywhere you look, a new iPhone price hike turns up. At $199, the phones themselves may be cheaper — but Apple and AT&T, the phone's exclusive carrier in the U.S., are charging users by other means. The iPhone data plan by itself is going up $10 to $30/mo. In a GigaOm interview, AT&T wireless chief Ralph de la Vega reveals that the 200 text messages previously included will cost iPhone users an extra $5/mo. ($20/mo. for unlimited messages, which seem practically obligatory.) And then there's Apple's MobileMe subscription, without which the iPhone's new synching features won't work, at $99 a year, or just over $8 a month. Add it up, and iPhone users will be paying about $43 a month, or $1,038 over the two-year course of the AT&T contract they signed up for — all to get an iPhone at $199.
So to fully maximize the iPhone you have to pay $1,038 for the data plan, text messaging, and synching software; plus $199 for the phone itself. This doesn't include voice, taxes and other assorted fees. That's a pretty hefty phone bill to pay each month.

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