If you’ve ever bought a phone outright, you may have calculated how much your phone costs you on a yearly basis (and therefore whether the subsidized carrier plan is worth it rather than just buying outright). But have you ever thought about how much you pay for your iPhone every week? or every day? What about per every pickup?
Let’s do some math and talk about how much I pay for my iPhone.
So firstly: I like to buy my iPhones outright from the Apple Store, largely because I like to also pay for AppleCare+ and have the ability to just walk into a store if I ever have a problem. (also, how great are Apple stores?)
I have a iPhone 11 Pro which I purchased from an Apple store for $999
When you buy a new phone, you have to consider the potential re-sale value for when you upgrade, which means a bit of estimation in my calculation. Luckily, Apple has a pretty well defined trade in program, so if I assume I will keep my 11 Pro for 2 years, then it will theoretically be worth the same amount then as an iPhone X is worth today.
Apple’s trade in website says that they will pay “up to $320” for an iPhone X. Let’s assume with a couple of dings here and there I manage to get $250.
I also pay for AppleCare+ with Theft & Loss (I like to live life on the edge and not put my phone in a case), which is another $14.99 a month.
That means over a 24 month period my total cost of owning and operating my phone looks like this:
- $999 Initial outlay on the iPhone 11 Pro
- $480 Two years worth of Mint Mobile’s 8GB plan
- $359.76 Two years worth of AppleCare+
- -$250 Trade in value
Or just over a thousands dollars a year, or $87.03 a month, or $20.08 a week, or $2.87 a day which is basically the price of a cup of coffee.
Is having my iPhone, and access to the internet along with millions of apps (along with the safety of AppleCare) worth the price of a cup of coffee every day? For me that answer is definitely yes, but it might not be for everyone.
Some people might spend much less by putting their phone in a case and not getting AppleCare, or they might not need Apple’s latest phone every 2 years or 8GB of data every month, but I do think it’s an interesting calculation to make. Especially for those on subsidized plans from the major carriers. Is your phone worth what you’re paying for it?
And we can even go one step further. According to Apple’s screen time, I pick up my phone about 100 times a day (it was more like 75 pre-covid lockdown)
Which means that I am effectively paying a little under 3 cents every time I pickup my iPhone. Now, we can certainly argue about whether that third refresh of Instagram during y lunch break is a value add to my life, but at 3 cents a refresh? I’m pretty happy with it. It’s certainly outweighed by all of those invaluable Google Maps searches or Uber requests in times of need.
How much is your phone worth to you? Hit me up on twitter, I’m @GeorgeCreasy
17th May 2020
Did you see last week’s post?