For some reason I can’t resist watching Steve Jobs’ Apple keynote speeches. I watched six years ago when he introduced the iPod, and I watched again last night when he introduced his latest “revolutionary” product. People were amazed when the iPod was introduced — but a little shocked by the price. I didn’t buy an iPod then, but I finally did break down and buy a $99 shuffle when it was released a year or two back.
So what about the iPhone? By all accounts, it’s an amazing device, offering not only a telephone, but also email, messaging, a beautiful web browser, and of course, iPod functionality with a gorgeous 3.5 inch color screen for watching TV shows and movies. All this, for only $499!
Doesn’t sound too expensive, but let’s compare it to my current phone setup. I’m not a “power” phone user, by any stretch. On a typical month, I make about 10 minutes’ worth of calls, generally to check on my kids or to call home to from the grocery store to ask what I was supposed to be getting. I have a prepaid plan that charges me $.18 per minute. But I must spend at least $80 per year to keep the phone active, so my per-minute rate is actually about 66 cents.
How does that compare to the iPhone? The cheapest Cingular plan is $39 per month, and I must sign a 2-year contract to get the $499 phone. At 10 minutes per month, my rate is $5.98 per minute. Wow, that’s steep! And that doesn’t even count Internet access, which costs another $19 per month. Is a fancy new phone worth 9 times what I’m paying for my current setup? Somehow I doubt it.
Even if I increased my phone used by tenfold, I’d still be paying an average of $.59 per minute with the Apple phone, compared to $.18 for my current phone — still more than three times as much. At this rate, it might be tempting, but it would require me to talk on my cell phone a whole lot more. And I hate talking on cell phones.
Read on for other news:
- Scott Spiegelberg offers his take on the tone deafness study
- Psych central summarizes the Consumer Reports survey of patients and doctors. Even shorter summary: Most people like their doctors, but don’t talk to them.
- Migraines linked to depression. You should ask your doctor about this one, but you probably won’t.