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Before Choosing a Smartphone, Be Aware of the Cost

Total 2-year contract costs can exceed $4000

by Keith Wheeler


If you've been saving up for the release of the iPhone 5 (editor's note: the iPhone 5 wasn't released as Apple launched the iPhone 4S instead) or another new smartphone, it might pay (pun intended) to spend some time on your mobile communications budget.

After all, the initial down stroke on your new phone might be just $199 for the latest technology. But, you had to sign a two year contract to get that price or you would have had to pay full retail which could approach $500-800 (or more).

For your two years, you agree to a voice plan and a data plan. For an unlimited voice plan from Verizon Wireless, budget $79/month. With your new gadget, you'll be texting more so add unlimited texting for another $20/month. Then, you have to have a real data plan to access your company Exchange Server and that's going to cost you $50/month for unlimited 5 GB. Wow! You're already at $149/month and the government hasn't even stepped in for their cut. For a two year contract, your monthly usage budget is $3576.

You're likely going to insure your coveted device to prevent you from having to pay full retail in the event of a drop, loss or theft. An Asurion plan will run around $9/month so add $216 to the total.

Total so far: $3991 with no taxes or other fees

And, you haven't even bought your first app.

The upside: efficient and safe use of a smartphone can enhance your business and personal life. For example, getting to see your child's baseball game or ballet recital because you're not chained to the office desk is of immeasurable value. In addition, being able to respond to a client (or potential client) more quickly might actually show a measurable value on your company's bottom line.

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