Wow, i wish sprint had decent service around where i live….
so would anyone here pay 650 or 750 for an 16/32 GB iPhone 5 when it comes out in exchange for not having to pay 120 bucks a month on verizon sprint or att?
Why would anyone do that? Because some people can actually do basic arithmetic (as in elementary school).
Here we go again.
ATT and Verizon: $199 subsidized iPhone 4S, $36 activation fee, $120 per month ($70 unlimited talk, $20 unlimited text, $30 cellular data 3GB with ATT at HSPA+ speed, 2GB with Verizon at EV-DO speed). Total cost of ownership over two years: $3115
Virgin Mobile: $649 retail iPhone 4S, $50 per month (unlimited talk/text/cellular data 2.5GB at EV-DO speed, throttled after 2.5GB). Total cost of ownership over two years: $1849
Cricket Wireless: $499 partially subsidized iPhone 4S, $55 per month (unlimited talk/text, cellular data 2.3GB soft cap at EV-DO speed). Total cost of ownership over two years: $1819
Straight Talk: $649 retail iPhone 4S, $15 SIM (one-time charge), $45 per month (unlimited talk/text, cellular data 2GB soft cap at HSPA+ speed). Total cost of ownership over two years: $1744
Monthly cost of ownership over two-year period:
Virgin Mobile: $77.04
Cricket Wireless: $75.79
Straight Talk: $72.67
Straight Talk service is bare bones, but they are using ATT’s cellular towers. They don’t tell you who you called, who sent you texts, how much data you’ve used, and you can’t block numbers. But if you want HSPA+ speeds, they are a cheap dumb pipe.
And to the guys who say, “most people get corporate discounts of 10-25% from the big carriers”, well, you still can’t do math, can you? Even if you slash 25% off ATT/Verizon’s unlimited rate, that’s still $97.34 per month.
If you opt for Straight Talk over a comparable plan from ATT or Verizon, your break-even point is month six. If you were on ATT or Verizon and wanted to walk away from the carrier at that point, you’d have to shell out an additional $260 or so in early termination costs.
People who can’t do math are throwing hundreds of dollars away each year to the big carriers. ATT stock dividend yields 8%. Thanks for putting money into my pocket, guys! You are partially paying for my Straight Talk cellular service!
Worse, if you have a postpaid plan, you are almost certainly paying a bunch of taxes that are added to the rates quoted by the carrier. The prepaid Straight Talk plan has a few mandated FCC charges, but no local sales tax. So someone using a postpaid ATT/Verizon plan as quoted above is likely paying an additional $8-10 more in taxes than their next door neighbor on Straight Talk.
I can’t do pricing analyses for every household’s situation, but clearly, if you care about your money, you might spend a few minutes doing your own analysis to see if you can save hundreds a year.
I will point out that in most countries, people buy handsets at full retail prices and pay much less for monthly service (which is not locked to a long-term contract). Only the United States and a handful of other countries have popular subsidized/long-term contract cellular sales model. The rest of the world is smarter than that.
Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish!
In memory of Steve Jobs