Saturday, September 20, 2014 [Tweets] [Favorites]

The True Cost of a Subsidized iPhone 6

Ed Bott (via John Gruber):

The actual price you will pay for an iPhone 6 in the U.S. varies depending on which carrier you choose. Those advertised numbers accurately reflect the up-front amount that a buyer will pay at the start of a two-year contract. But those apparently low subsidized prices include hidden costs that jack the price up over time. And it is nearly impossible for the average shopper to figure them out without extensive and exhausting research.

[…]

If you choose the 2-year contract option for AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint, you get a different set of plans. In the case of Verizon and AT&T, buying a phone outright or paying the full price in 20-24 monthly installments qualifies you for per-line discounts that range from $10 to $25 per month.

If you buy the device at the “low” two-year contract price, those discounts disappear. They are effectively finance charges for the device, which need to be added to the down payment of $200, $300, or $400.

2 Comments

In Sweden, it's the law that every time you mention a price for a contract (or phone+contract offer), you also have to mention the total price of that contract (+phone) over its life. With this, mostly complete coverage by all of our carriers and interoperable standards (except for different LTE bands), we still think they're trying to shaft their customers. I can't imagine what the US landscape is.

"In Sweden, it's the law that every time you mention a price for a contract (or phone+contract offer), you also have to mention the total price of that contract (+phone) over its life."

Goddamn Scandinavian utopians with your relatively sane societal structures. A Lingonberry paradise.

Try living in the Hobbesian Anglosphere for a while...

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