Iphones cost $2280

Bruce Kushnick does on an expose on AT&T’s iphone deal. Kushnick is a telco expert who I’ve linked to before. He disapproves of the business practices of the telcos. He’s strident but usually has his facts right.

Update: this Digg discussion highlights a few realities: these gotchas are on almost every cellular contract (true!), receivers paying for minutes is a uniquely American phenomena,  and that the $2280 derives from a 2 year service plan structure typical in US cellphone plans. But for the record, I use the significantly cheaper prepaid Virgin Mobile  service ($7/month) with no contract. (Read my comment below).






2 responses to “Iphones cost $2280”

  1. Preston P. DuBose Avatar

    While he raises good points, I do wonder a few things. Although he couches the article in terms of the iPhone, he doesn’t indicate that those issues are different than any other AT&T contract. Presumably anyone who signs up for any phone through AT&T is going to face most–if not all–of those problems. I also wonder how many are limited to AT&T. For instance, my impression is that 2 year contracts (at least if you want a discount on a phone) is the norm. So how many of these problems are even limited to AT&T versus the industry as a whole? Personally I’d like to see a features matrix.

  2. Robert Nagle Avatar

    I have A Virgin Mobile prepaid phone. Got it for free, pay for about 45 minutes per month (minimum $7), and make the rest of my calls with skype and my landline. Also, my prepaid phone has no commitment. (I might end up cancelling it when a more affordable cellphone comes out).

    Admittedly, we are not comparing the same things, but even if I used virgin mobile for two years (unlikely), my maximum charge would be $168.

    By the way, with the money I saved, I bought a high end PDA with 10 gigs of flash memory, better applications and a faster cpu and wifi. (The pda also has skype, which doesn’t work as well as I thought–bluetooth doesn’t work that good).

    Also, there’s the matter of reading. My pda has a professional RSS reader and a professional ebook reader (Mobipocket). Iphone may have RSS, but not mobipocket or anything like it. Update: apparently they have a jpeg-based reader ; that’s something at least.

    Iphone wins the design game, but my Dell Axim x51v would beat the iphone in features any day.

    Let’s quantify the savings on a per month basis. Iphone comes to $95 per month; Skype costs $50 a year; landline costs $15 per month (need it for internet; damn telcos!) and $7 for prepaid. That means $25/month for my phone solution. I make fewer calls on the run, but actually in the last two months, I have used too few of my prepaid minutes!

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