Jump to content

35 posts in this topic

Posted

I decided to post this topic because I'm genuinely interested in hearing the experiences of people from around the world. And hopefully this will be nice and educational to any reader who comes across this topic.

 

The reason I wanted to post this was because many people around here complain about how expensive the iPhone is.  Personally I don't have the full knowledge of why they think that way, so above anything else, I'd like to hear some justification behind that mentality.  Yes I know that the out-of-contract price for the iPhone is generally a bit more than everybody else, but people would have to be out of their mind to pay those prices over doing a contract deal.

 

Beyond that, if anybody would like to post a break-down of mobile costs local to them, I think this would make for a very interesting topic

 

So here in the USA, phones are subsidized, so we get a significant discount on the retail price of the phone, but are locked into a contract.  The two biggest carriers are AT&T and Verizon, so I'll use AT&T for my example.  If I walk into their store and want to sign a new contract (2 years) with the iPhone 5, it will cost me $200 (USD) upfront for the phone.  Then for the contract, let's say I want unlimited calling minutes, unlimited texting, and 3GB of data per month. That totals up to $120 per month.

 

For for the duration of the 2 year plan, it would cost:

  • $200 upfront for the iPhone 5
  • $120 per month x 24 months
  • Total: $3080 USD (not including taxes)

Generally speaking, any top-tier new phone will start at $200, except for the Lumia 1020, which starts at $299.  I think the GS4 was $250 at first too.  And an average smartphone plan in the US will run anywhere from $60-150 per month depending on the options.  There are pay-as-you-go plans, month-to-month, and all sorts of other options, but the majority of people go the route of 2 year plans.  So overall, the iPhone here is the same, if not cheaper, than the other top-tier options.

 

So out of curiosity, I looked up a major carrier in the UK to see what their pricing was like.  It looked like EE was a major carrier, so I priced up a comparable plan, and here's what I came up with:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Yeah, here in the US, we have post paid plans. with contracts of generally 2 years and that allows cellphones to be purchased subsidized. Some areas of the world use pre-paid plans, which requires people to pay for the phone unsubsidized - so while the phone is expensive, the plans are usually very cheap.

 

Here's what my HTC One 32GB (AT&T) costs:

One time fees = $216 (199 + tax)

$199 out of pocket for HTC One 32GB (AT&T) on 2 year contract

$35 activation fee (never mind, I had my activation fee for some reason)

 

Monthly costs = $98.00 (after taxes + company discount)

$39.99 - 450 minutes

$19.99 - unlimited messaging

$50.00 - 5GB data

 

Ironically if I got the 3GB data plan, it would end up costing me about the same after taxes, since my company discount doesn't apply on the 3GB data plan, but does on the 5GB data plan :rofl:. That's right, let that sink in.

 

2 year cost = $216 + ($98*24) = $2568. If I got the iPhone 4 with the same 2 year plan would cost $2352, which isn't a huge difference in the grand scheme of things.

 

I don't think anyone in the US thinks iPhone is expensive. You can get the iPhone 4 for free on a two year contract...The service is the expensive part, not the phone (well at least subsidized).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I do the prepaid route as a result of the madness you listed.

 

Nexus 4 16GB = $349 ($380=tax and shipping)

$60 H2O Plan x 24 = $1440 (unlimited calling/sms/mms/3GB of Data)

Total = $1820

 

------

iPhone 5 32GB = $796 (includes tax)

Total = $2236

 

Also you gotta take in consideration costs of living and pay rate. Paying

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Using Bell (In Canada).

For a 16gb Iphone 5 on a 2 year contract.

Phone: 199$
Plan:  105$ per month Gets you:

Unlimited nationwide minutes

  • 3 GB of shareable data
  • Bonus: Mobile TV add-on (included on a 2-year term only)
  • Unlimited nationwide text, picture, and video messages
  • Call Display and Message Centre Lite
  • Call Waiting and Conference Calling
  • Unlimited access to Canada's largest Wi-Fi network, including participating McDonald's

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

From Dec 2011 - last time i signed a Verizon contract and bought a new phone.

 

HTC Rezound - $299 + tax

Plan - $95/mo (450 mins, 4GB data, unlimited text, all tax and 'fees' included)

 

Total (2 years) - $2602

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

  • Unlimited access to Canada's largest Wi-Fi network, including participating McDonald's

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

This is a pretty cool feature. How exactly does it work?  

 

Is there a generic password that will work with all these locations?  So for instance, if you get in range of this Wifi, it will automatically take you off the data and use the Wifi network instead?  If so, that's really awesome and could be a huge convenience if it becomes widespread enough.

 

A lot of the fast-food places and cafes/pubs here have free Wifi, but you need to manually go into the settings and connect to it.  So most of the time, it's not worth wasting the time to do it.  Having something more universal and automated would be magnitudes better.

Propbably similar to attwifi - it authenticates via your SIM card so no passwords needed. Once the handshake is completed you are allowed to browse away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

This is a pretty cool feature. How exactly does it work?  

 

Is there a generic password that will work with all these locations?  So for instance, if you get in range of this Wifi, it will automatically take you off the data and use the Wifi network instead?  If so, that's really awesome and could be a huge convenience if it becomes widespread enough.

 

A lot of the fast-food places and cafes/pubs here have free Wifi, but you need to manually go into the settings and connect to it.  So most of the time, it's not worth wasting the time to do it.  Having something more universal and automated would be magnitudes better.


Not entirely sure how it works.  I don't have it with my plan (didn't exist 2 years ago).  I am pretty sure it just comes up as an available connection, which you connect to and are off and running.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Propbably similar to attwifi - it authenticates via your SIM card so no passwords needed. Once the handshake is completed you are allowed to browse away.

I was going to say ATT has this. Click here for ATT WiFi hotspots near you. In my area, it's just Starbucks, McDonald's and Fedex.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I was going to say ATT has this. Click here for ATT WiFi hotspots near you. In my area, it's just Starbucks, McDonald's and Fedex.

Ah, very nice.  I have a month and a half left with the POS named Sprint, and then I'm off to AT&T.  It's good to know they have that feature.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Taking into account the cost of living as described above there are a number of other reasons I can think of that makes owning a mobile phone cheaper in UK:

 

1) Blanket coverage across the country for every carrier

Each and every carrier in the UK has pretty much blanket coverage of the UK, whereas to my understanding in the US in each 'area' there are only ever 1 or 2 carriers which provide decent coverage.

 

2) Consistent use of radio bands across carriers

Every carrier in the UK uses the same radio bands meaning portability of handsets is far easier.  We don't have to deal with CDMA vs GSM as you do with Verizon and AT&T.  This means that phones can easily be taken between networks.

 

3) Smaller populace

The country has less people that the 5 networks are fighting over so as a result of the increased competition, prices go down.

 

As well as the above, there are a number of other MVNOs which bring prices down further.  I personally use an MVNO called GiffGaff, which runs on the O2 network.  My plan is as follows:

1) Unlimited data (although there is probably a fair usage policy)

2) Unlimited SMS (again, a fair usage probably applies)

3) Unlimited calls to other GiffGaff customers.

4) 250 minutes per month.

 

The offer is a quasi-prepaid offer with no contract, and pre-paid minutes beyond the package.  The offer itself costs me

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

T-mobile (Now EE) UK

 

Iphone 4s =

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

*shudders* $2k+ for cell phones over a contract..... I'll just stick with my $100 a year Verizon pre-paid phone that I never use... maybe it's because I don't like being connected 24/7.. but I feel no need to have a cell phone all the time when it costs that much... so much other stuff I could use that $2k+ on...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Wow.. seems the US gets killed on plans vs UK

 

I pay $235 a month for

 

700 shared minutes

3x$30 for data plans (2 are unlimited, 1 is 2gb)

unlimited texts

 

So 3 smart phones (2 iphones, 1 droid) = $600 for the phones, $2820 a year in services.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I think it helps that the regulators in Europe are more awake than their US counterparts.

They're talking about forcing all the EU carriers to charge EU wide roaming at domestic rates... Although I'm sure the carriers will find some other charge to stick on our bills to compensate for it.

 

Also we don't tend to get sneaky fees like happen in the US, usually the prices that are displayed in the store or on the carriers site is what you pay all in.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

*shudders* $2k+ for cell phones over a contract..... I'll just stick with my $100 a year Verizon pre-paid phone that I never use... maybe it's because I don't like being connected 24/7.. but I feel no need to have a cell phone all the time when it costs that much... so much other stuff I could use that $2k+ on...

I think it's one of those things where once you get intertwined into having an expensive smartphone, you start to figure out how to get your money worth.  For instance, having work contacts/email connected, being able to pay bills, trade stocks, navigate with the GPS, make use of the thousands of apps that are available, all while sitting on the beach with a beer in your other hand.

 

I didn't get my smartphone until I graduated college, and couldn't comprehend ever spending that much on a damn phone, but now that I've had it for two years, I can't imagine ever not having it.  And it's not that I have to be attached at the hip with it, but there are so many conveniences of having it that make being productive so much faster/easier.  And this is coming from somebody who has suffered with Sprint for 2 years, who has a data network that literally doesn't work. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

And this is what baffled me. Not only is that plan much cheaper than the AT&T plan, it includes 3.3 times the data. Not to mention that the upfront cost of the phone was basically nothing.

It's because other countries have competition.

In most of Europe, I believe, phones are always sold unlocked and so you can buy your device anywhere. In America your phones are always locked to a carrier (sometimes by the firmware, and always by hardware).

Each carrier essentially has their own monopoly AT&T bands are different to T-Mobile, and Verizon / Sprint use completely different technologies. So they can charge w/e the hell they want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I think it's one of those things where once you get intertwined into having an expensive smartphone, you start to figure out how to get your money worth.  For instance, having work contacts/email connected, being able to pay bills, trade stocks, navigate with the GPS, make use of the thousands of apps that are available, all while sitting on the beach with a beer in your other hand.

 

I didn't get my smartphone until I graduated college, and couldn't comprehend ever spending that much on a damn phone, but now that I've had it for two years, I can't imagine ever not having it.  And it's not that I have to be attached at the hip with it, but there are so many conveniences of having it that make being productive so much faster/easier.  And this is coming from somebody who has suffered with Sprint for 2 years, who has a data network that literally doesn't work. :)

I've had smart phones ever since Palm came out with their "wireless cellular palm pilot" still can't justify it for myself especially when work gives me one I don't even use for anything.... btw I suffered with sprint for 2yrs also on a contract once... ditched them the second I could...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Phone - Sony Xperia U -

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I've been on Virgin Mobile USA for a while. Mainly cause it's affordable(none of that ~$100+/month crap), and i'm not tied into a contract. Sprints (3G)data speed wont blow you away of course, typically around 400-500kbit/sec during the day and upto 2mbit late night, but it usually works well enough when i'm somewhere without wifi and need internets. And i never really have any issues with coverage since i'm not one of those rich types who get to travel alot.

 

Anyway..

 

Phone(currently) - Samsung Galaxy S II - $199 when i got it.

 

Plan - $35/month(about $37.19 with tax).

300 Minutes(more than i ever use a month)

Unlimited messaging

Unlimited Data(that may be throttled after 2.5GB, but i don't usually go that high a month on my phone anyway)

 

Per year, without factoring in the phone, it's about $450.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Canada & the US are THE most expensive places. In Canada there's a new Wireless Code going into effect that's supposed to be more consumer friendly, and there's a lot of rhetoric from the big 3 (yes, we only really have three telecom companies in the mobile space, the small players are negligible) that's like "oh we're not that expensive, the US is worse!" which is true if you only look at the big US telecoms. If you take into account all telecoms, Canada should be even more expensive than the US (which is why both "the US is more expensive" and "look at the great plans in the US" can be true at the same time).

 

Anyway the US is a horrible comparison to begin with, the entire rest of the world has rates much much lower than it is in NA. There is so little competition, in fact, that the big 3 can pull **** off like this: they used to all do 3 year contracts, now the Wireless Code says you can only do 2 year. Instead of making their offerings better, however, they all just jacked up the monthly price of their plans and in some cases reduced what you get for it, so you still end up getting screwed just as much.

 

Example, Rogers' budget-ish brand Fido, used to have a $25 plan that gave you 200min talk unlimited eve/wknd, unlimited text, unlimited domestic long distance, standard extras included (caller id, voice mail, etc.). The same plan is now $30 and only includes 100 min talk time. If you want data, the cheapest plan at Fido is $45, gives you same as above but 200min talk, and 200mb data. That's an extra $15 on top of the already ludicrous price for a mere 200mb of data (and 100 more minutes, meh). If you want 500mb data, that starts at $55.

 

In contrast, Ting, owned by Tucows (a canadian company), operates in the US on a pay-what-you-use basis. For $33 - about the price of the cheapest Fido plan with no data - you get 500 minutes, 2000 texts, and 500mb data. And that's in the US! In fact, if you were a Ting customer and roamed into Canada, you'd be paying LESS per minute than a Canadian customer would on a pre-paid plan at Fido.

 

And this is typical of the big 3. Most of them are even more expensive actually. That's why I laugh in the face of anyone who claims that their cellphone plan is a good deal. I'm paying 50% right now for a while, and that only just brings my price down to regular rest-of-the-world levels. Also shows you how extorbitant their regular pricing is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

here's my plan.

 

unlocked iPhone 4, on Telus Mobility. I had to buy the phone for $99 at Future Shop in 2011, Telus would have made me sign a new contract to replace my phone (my iPhone 3GS had died a couple days before)

  • SPARK Sampler
  • Canadian LD @ $0.45
  • Family Calling LD
  • Text Messaging Services
  • 6pm Local Nights & Weekends
  • Unlimited Messaging
  • Family Calling
  • 911 Emergency Access Charge
  • Conference Calling
  • Call Display
  • Outbound Call Display On
  • Call Waiting
  • Voice Mail 3
  • HSPA/CDMA 1GB LYTY Data 20-PDA

$62.15 after tax per month. ($55 before tax)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I am from Spain and a customer of Simyo, a MVNO using the Orange network.

 

0 minutes included (12c connection fee + 6c/min or 0c/min for the first 10min to other Simyo customers, billed in seconds)

0 messages included (national messages at 10c)

750MB included

Minimum bill of 8.49

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Here in Ukraine people are mostly using pre-paid option.

I am paying approx. $30 USD. /month for the unlimited calls inside my network and 500 mins for the outside. This plan also includes 500 megs of data.

Phone has been bought by myself at the store and it's unlocked. iPhone 4S. I guess I paid $500 USD or something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

In the UK we have Giffgaff. Buy a Nexus 4 outright and then go on their

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.