[Header Picture]

# The $3000 iPhone?

I haven't really written, or even said much, about the iPhone. Until it's been released and people are able to hold it in their hand I haven't seen the point. However, Chris Seibold at Apple Matters just published the most ridiculous article I've read about the iPhone yet.

In the article he adds a lot of claptrop about how much the iPhone "really" costs, and of course he inflates the prices as much as he can.

iPhone: $499
$500 bucks for a cell phone? Its an outrage. Well, remember that it is also an internet device, a camera, an iPod, and a game-playing wonder. Now how much would you pay?

This is actually not a bad price for a cell phone. Remember when the Razr was first released? It was a $50 phone in a thin case that cost $500. The StarTac was over $600. The Treo 650 was in the same price range. Still think the iPhone price is all that bad?

Cingular service: $39.99(450 minutes) to $199.99 (6000 minutes)

Why is this included as part of the phone? You'd have to pay this no matter which phone you get. Let's throw this number away, since it doesn't affect the actual price of the phone.

Bluetooth earpiece: $50
If you're cool enough to have an iPhone, you're probably legally required to have the Bluetooth iPhone earpiece jammed in your ear canal

Chris' reasoning is just silly here. Another cost we don't factor in, because it's the same for every phone.

Data package: $20-$50
The smartphone connect with unlimited data is only $20. You think Cingular is going to let you get away with that? Surely you jest. More likely you'll be hit with the $50 Blackberry connect fee.

Chris' speculation is not unreasonable, but it's also wrong. There's no reason that you have to speculate here, however. Cingular has already said that you will need the same plan as other PDAs, like the Treo 650. The cost? $40/mo.

Getting out of your current contract: $200.00
Sure, you say, there is no way you'll pay it, but start setting some dough aside.

Here we see Chris adding costs in that really don't belong, just to inflate the price. Another cost we can safely drop.

Car charger: $40
Your plan is to keep the iPhone charged, right? With a five-hour battery life a portable charger is not an option, it is a necessity. And since the phone is new youll have to pay an exorbitant amount.

This one is pure FUD. The iPhone uses the same dock connector as every model of the iPod, except for the shuffle. I'd wager that a large portion of the iPhone's target market already has a car charger for their iPod. But I'll be a little bit fair to Chris, we'll give him this one for now at $15.

Case: $50 Cmon, youve spent all this jack for a phone and youre going to try to shave a few pennies off the cost by skipping or making your own cover? I think not!

A $50 case? I suppose you could spend that much. I think the cost will be more along the lines of $25 at most, but maybe if you have a lot of disposable income you'll spend as much as $50.

So what's the final price? With two years of service and the above costs completely factored in, I total $1500 over 2 years. Of that $1500, $540 is the upfront cost and the other $960 is spread out over the next two years in the form of the data plan. Somehow, that doesn't seem quite as bad to me.

I'm making a couple assumptions here, but I think they're resonable assumptions. First, I'm assuming that you already have a cell phone plan. Second, I'm assuming that you either are no longer in contract or will find a way out of your current contract without paying. Given the audience for my blog I'm pretty confident that both situations apply.

Finally, the question I've been asked most. Will I get an iPhone? I don't know yet. I would love to have one but that's not the only factor. Dad already offered to buy me one in June, after he gets the rest of his inheritance. I don't know that I'll take him up on that, however. I carry a cingular phone for work, so I'll have to either activate a iPhone through work or switch to cingular for my personal phone. I don't think I want to go to GSM, which has shitty coverage outside of major cities. Plus, carrying two cingular phones would be pretty retarded.

posted at: 2007 Mar 01 16:47 UTC | category: tech | (story link)

Copyright © 2006-2008 Zach White