Startling figures show that iPhone owners pay bigger phone bills - but the stats are silent as to whether that's because they make a lot of calls or are just too stupid to notice. Almost 60 per cent of iPhone users pay more than $100 a month, according to a survey in the US by Consumer Intelligence Research. Meanwhile, a shade …
Is it because the networks genuinely incur higher costs, or is the market simply less competitive? There are also a myriad of hidden charges, from 999 fees to state and local wireless taxes. The government and private companies both seem intent on picking the poor customer's pocket, and doing so with a maximum amount of confusion.
Competition in the US is largely smoke and mirrors, either a provider has an actual monopoly or there is an unspoken cartel in operation.
Both, I think. Also, less regulated. Confusion is a form of art when it comes to phone bills in the US; the better to advertise "$50 a month plans" which swell to $90 plans when all fees and taxes are added.
Then again, Americans are used to pay $20 for a $15 item on the menu, unlike Europeans who for some reason expect the price to be exactly as indicated.
We were asking our US VP about this a while back. She was saying what a great deal she got on her data bundle, that it was only $50 a month. We nearly spat cider clear across the room. She was aghast when we told her our similar bundles were £5 a piece.
US mobile pricing is insane, simple as that.
"Is it because the networks genuinely incur higher costs"
They'll certainly need a couple more masts than we do.
> "Why are American prices so much higher?"
It's a strange thing, because there are so many unlimited data/talk/text deals available for $60 a month or less. WalMart sells an unlimited package for the iPhone 5 for about $45. I pay $40 a month for unlimited everything on an Android with a keyboard-slider (I like to punch real keys).
I have no idea why so many people forego the cheaper American unlimited deals.
there's unlimited and there's limited unlimited, Straight Talk (Walmart offering) is very limited unlimited, I've had a couple of friends notified because of their "heavy" usage, which they maintain was not abusive or heavy.
"unlike Europeans who for some reason expect the price..."
Unsure whether yours is an EU or US perspective but for this non-US person, just seems like commonsense to pay only the price that promotes the item or service, and not a cent/penny more.
Oh, and if online, with cashback, too.
Just received T-Mob SIM offering the "Full Monty" normally costing around $45/month with "unlimited" (fair use limits, 1000 min, 5000 texts, throttled to 4 Mbps) voice, texts and data. T-Mob dropped price by 50% and cashback of $150, so it'll average about $11/ month for me. SIM Only deal so open to iPhone users too, if they were at all interested in not overpaying.
Because even the more expensive "unlimited" deals turn out to be far more limited and cost more than advertised.
I had a Sprint phone for a while that was purchased with an "unlimited" data plan because I don't actually make many phone calls. About 6 months from the end of my contract the "unlimited" data plan was canceled. Soon thereafter I also canceled my phone contact and paid the fee to get out of rather than continue to part with more than a $100/month for something from which I was not getting enough use.
Some of it is truly higher costs. Some of it is limited competition. Most of it is the corruption of government granted monopolies, either back when AT&T ruled the US, or from the local fiefdoms from which the phone companies have to purchase land use rights to place their masts. Oh according to the laws on the books they are open for competition, but try running the paperwork if you aren't the current incumbent...
The US market is less competitive. There are more players involved; but in the absence of a mandate requiring GSM (as in most of the rest of the world), they are using several incompatible technologies.
Since you can't necessarily just transfer your phone over to another network, but must choose a telco using the same technology, they can all afford to keep prices higher than they would have to if this barrier did not exist.
I've an iPhone (always had Apple product since the dark days, so I know exactly what I'm letting myself in for), and I don't even spend £10 a month! Never mind 100 a month.
Free data from my provider, even though I'm PAYG and I didnt buy the handset from them. (I thought it was weird too, but I didnt complain). Free messaging over wi-fi thats available at home, away, work, etc.
Maybe I just dont have enough friends. :-(
I'm guessing you bought the iPhone with hard currency, rather than a contract rental then. Amortise the cost of your shiny handset over the lifespan of the product (handset churn used to be averaging 18 months or so, not sure about now) and add that to your £10 and you're probably at least in the £30 range/month (still cheap, but then you're not "typical", are you?).
Your £10 includes how much (free) data? I doubt it's unlimited (although if it is, who is it?) The AT&T tariffs seem to be a rather generous 1-5GB. I pay £7/mo for 500MB (which I had upgraded from 250MB with "loyalty points") - oddly the tariffs I can see on the Orange website don't seem to scale all that well in that they multiply up the number of voice minutes fairly rapidly as the price goes up, but don't do the same thing with the data - I think I'd have to spend at least £20/mo to get more data, but then I spend a lot of time near WiFi - mostly at home - or on a PC with full access to the internet (subject to work acceptable use policy) so I don't need much mobile data.
I fully intend to keep my phone for at least a few more years as my needs aren't that great - but I am aware I'm not the norm for phone use.
Disclaimer: My phone is android and I hope I'm in the "smarter and tighter" category :)
Lies, Damned Lies & Statistics.
You would probably be in the 40% if you were American, which is still a large proportion, and also remember it's dollars, not pounds, exchange rate isn't as good as it once was, but it's not parity yet.
The headline sensationalises the statistics a bit, there's not much difference between the two platforms by the look of things.
It story also looks to contradict itself, in the first paragraph claiming -
"iPhone users pay more than $100 a month, according to a survey in the US by Consumer Intelligence Research. Meanwhile, a shade over half of polled Android users spent less"
and then in the last paragraph -
"54 per cent fall into the greater-than-$100-a-month category."
Maybe I'm interpretting it incorrectly, but those two statments look to be contradictory.
"Lies, Damned Lies & Statistics."
It is a bit dodgy and sensationalist as things go. In short: < 60% of iPhone users pay > $100/mo and 54% of Android users pay > $100/mo. So in reality there is a maximum of 6% difference between iPhoners and Androiders. Give us something like median and mode which might prove useful.
I will say that $100 is a bit steep, the missus and I are paying $80 for two mobiles with unlimited (2 GB @ full speed) data on T-mob without a subsidy.
I recently changed my plan & provider because of concerns about my data usage. My new non contract plan is unlimited everything, including free long distance, LTE, hotspot and 2GB data for 36UKP/month + taxes. Data overage is a bit costly at slightly over 6UKP per GB. I also kept my old phone number as well. Not sure how that compares to UK & European plans.
Actually $110/month is about what I was paying for my Sprint phone a while back. Minimal talk minutes, unlimited data, and hot spot so I could use the data connection on my laptop, which was where I really wanted the wireless. And it was one of the cheaper phones/plans available from the retailer at that level of Smart Phone. Verizon and AT&T would both have been at least another $30 on top of that.
'Fandroids are smarter/tighter than iPhone fanbois' - sounds like I need to get a fandroid girlfriend.
I'm sure some comment could be made about iPhone users not being as tight because they're used to bending over and taking whatever Apple gives them...
But I'd never make a comment like that.
"But the numbers also reflect the demographic which owns an iPhone"
If this was the 80s. they would be called Yuppies.....
Stealing that! :)
"If this was the 80s. they would be called Yuppies....."
No, no they wouldn't.
Actually I think they'd be DINKs: Double Income, No Kids.
Wow, the mention of O2's XDA, that's a blast from the past. I shudder thinking back to when I had to make use of the first XDA model. Though I did like the fact I could write my own programs to run under it.
are more likely to be dumb enough to pay double the handsets worth over the length of the contract.
Me, I have a Nexus4 (£270), and pay £5 a month for unlimited data, unlimited landline/same network calls, 100 texts and 100 minutes, which is more than enough ( I email people now rather than text anyway). No contract and a phone that's mine. I can switch anytime I want (not that I would on a fiver a month).
A fiver a month for all that?! Who the hell did you sleep with to get that bundle?!
Yes, who the hell indeed. Inquiring, smart and tight minds want to know. Tell us ! (please).
(Tesco Mobile: £10 a month rolling 1 month contract, 500 mins, 5000 texts, 1GB data)
Nobody, just shop around... There are deals this good to be had, if are aren't sucked into the free phone deals.
"(Tesco Mobile: £10 a month rolling 1 month contract, 500 mins, 5000 texts, 1GB data)"
Giff Gaff: £12 a month PAYG, 250 mins, unlimited texts, unlimited data, free Giff Gaff to Giff Gaff calls/texts for 3 months.
I pay £2 a month for my contract with O2, 200 mins, unlimited texts and 500mb of data. Which is plenty for me, as I'm usually near a wifi router, and usually use whatsapp for messaging rather than the outdated texting.
Not sure if I'm misreading but... 60% of 20% (at best) of the market, i.e., 12% of the market. For Android, 54% of 75% of the market, i.e., 40.5% of the market. So actually, there's still more in overall numbers of Android users with more money. (Worth considering if you're an application developer who still believes it's iphone users spending more.)
(Plus even if we ignore the different sizes of the market, 54% and 60% aren't that different, the first two paragraphs imply there's a massive difference, and the actual relevant figure for Android only given later on.)
You're missing the bit where iPhones have a much larger share of the US market. Don't remember the numbers offhand, but Apple's market depletion is coming primarily at the hands of the emerging markets.
That said, I do feel wounded each month when the cell bill arrives. I keep trying to find a way off the merry-go-round, but if you want decent coverage, you gets to pay the tariff even after your "subsidy" is paid off. And that's true no matter what platform you decide is best.
Oh!...and now you can't even take your "paid for" phone off to another company without permission from your current carrier.
People who spend more on a phone may spend more on phone calls/data downloads.
Well for my princely sum of £10 per month I get 100 mins/texts and unlimited data for my HTC Desire C and that was free!
why do people pay out the nose for a bit of shinny kit?
As I posted above...
Giff Gaff: £12 a month PAYG, 250 mins, unlimited texts, unlimited data, free Giff Gaff to Giff Gaff calls/texts for 3 months.
"why do people pay out the nose for a bit of shinny kit?"
For the "Haptic Feedback" in their pants?
I-thingys are also more popular in the USA because they're fashionable. Your typical I-person is buying one not because they have a specific use for them but because everyone else has one and they don't want to be left out..just like when they were in high school.
I tried copying some 5 megapixel photos from a friend's camera to an Ipad 2 purchased new spring 2012. Can you believe the overpriced Ipad2 can't handle 5 MP images? Really? (check Apple forums, that's where I found out). I had to lower the resolution for Icrap to accept them. I uploaded them to my 2009 Android phone AND my 2007 WM6 phone, both displayed 5MP images easily (although the WM6 rendering was slow as molasses).
But that's ok. It's shiny and a status symbol for people who are clueless or low self-esteem, much like those who drove the most ugly car in the world, the Hummer.
Missed the Apple Tax, they take a cut of every contract, beyond the phone cost.
. . . IIRC the US trend was for 24 or 36 month contracts, the idea of the 12, 18 or 24 that we tend to get in the UK is a revelation.
As others have said though, I don't understand anyone who buys a tethered phone these days. I replace my phone more or less annually and pay £15 a month for 300 minutes, 3,000 texts (which is as near as makes no difference unlimited) and unlimited data (no FUP, this month i've gone through 1.5GB without trying and without issue). That's a PAYG month by month contract too, as I refuse to be tied to a carrier any longer as well.
Yes, it works out as somewhere around £35 monthly, but the phone isn't tied and can be updated as soon as the manufacturer releases an update, not when the provider decides. I get no provider rubbish on the phone. It's an unlocked handset so is onwardly more saleable. I can switch provider on a whim, with full number portability. I get to choose whatever handset I want, not whatever handset someone can make more profit on. I get all of that, pay about the same monthly as people on longer contracts and have complete control over every aspect - why wouldn't you do that?
The sad thing is most of us in Canada would love to be able to get those comparatively cheap US contract prices
OFFICIAL: FANDROIDS ARE SMARTER/TIGHTER/LESS SUCCESSFUL* THAN IPHONE FANBOIS
I'm sure there are squillions of fanmen like me who spend £'s on their iPhone bills making ££££££££'s of monthly sales. It's an investment. A tool. You don't get very far if you don't use your tool.
Not sure? Penis or wanker? Hmmm!
A fool with a tool is still a fool.....
As a Brit working in the US (I've been here 6 years) I can't wait to start paying UK prices on phones again when I return in 12 months (most other things are a different matter however...). My wife and I have a joint plan on Sprint, me with a Galaxy S2 and her with an iPhone. Each phone cost us $200 and we have a 2 year contract which costs (with some random discount they gave me) $147 every month. We do get unlimited data, however Sprint's data speeds are so awful that I don't ever use more than 1 GB per month, the wife even less (her iPhone can't get the "4G" which I can in certain areas of the US, so I get through a bit more). Americans also seem to think it's OK to be charged when someone calls them or sends them a text too, which is compeltely baffling to me. Why should I pay to receive telemarketing calls?
The really bad bit is, Sprint is the CHEAPEST contract you can get (or it was when we got it 18 months ago). Verizon have better data speeds but they charge accordingly. Don't know much about T-Mobile over here, but they are more expensive for less than Sprint. Since half the the US telcos insist on using CDMA technology, I can't bring my S2 back with me and bung a PAYG SIM in it when we return, luckily wifey's iPhone is GSM/CDMA so she can keep it if she wants.
So what about people with Windows phones? Or were five people not statistically significant enough to report on?
Where is Eadon turning this into some kind of MS rant? Not that I'm complaining of course, its quite refreshing to not have the ramblings of that half wit mucking up the comments!
So I was paying $90/mo to Verizon for a original Droid & an Xoom. The Droid was subsidized with NO texting, yet I was still paying $/60mo for it. This is unlimited data for the phone and 2GB for the tablet.
I dumped the Droid and got a Nexus 4, and now I'm paying $30/mo to T-Mobile for 5GB data and unlimited texting, and $30/mo to Verizon for the Xoom, which Verizon refuses to upgrade past early ICS.
Over here, subsidized is the norm, and T-Mobile is trying to break into the PAYG model. Most Americans just walk into a store and go "I want that one" and don't understand the economics of PAYG full-price phones vs. subsidized on a contract.
And I thought I had an expensive contract at £18/month 100min/5000 text/and unlimited internets
Damn glad I dont live in the US