Which Has A Higher TCO, iPhone Or Pre? - InformationWeek

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Commentary
6/3/2009
03:15 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Which Has A Higher TCO, iPhone Or Pre?

Oh, those crafty folks over at BillShrink.com. They've put together a comparison tool that pits the iPhone head to head with the Palm Pre. BillShrink isn't comparing features. No, it is going to tell you which has the lower total cost of ownership. UPDATED, 6/5/09, 6:15PM.

Oh, those crafty folks over at BillShrink.com. They've put together a comparison tool that pits the iPhone head to head with the Palm Pre. BillShrink isn't comparing features. No, it is going to tell you which has the lower total cost of ownership. UPDATED, 6/5/09, 6:15PM.OK, so I bit into BillShrink's clever self-promotion pitch. But hey, it was for the sake of my craft.

BillShrink has a page set up here that compares the iPhone to the Palm Pre. It asks you to enter in a bunch of general usage data, such as how many minutes a month, how many text messages, email, etc. After a few more bits and bytes, it calculates the plan you are on versus other plans out there.

I received a voicemail from BillShrink admitting that the original set of figures they sent me was incorrect due to some omitted charges. They said they were going to send over a new batch of numbers, but they haven't showed up yet. If/when they do, I'll update the figures below.

Here are the basics points for the Pre and the iPhone:

Palm Pre (Sprint):

  • $199: cost of phone with $100 rebate
  • $100/month: Sprint Unlimited data + voice
  • $69.99/month: 450 voice minutes and unlimited data
  • $89.99/month: 900 voice minutes
  • $129.99/month: Family plan for 2 Pre phones ($19.99 for additional lines to family plan)
  • $169.99: 3000 minutes shared plan
  • $189.99: Unlimited family plan ($89.99 for additional lines to unlimited everything family plan)

iPhone (AT&T):

  • $199+: cost of phone
  • $150/month: AT&T unlimited data + voice
  • $112.49/month: 450 voice minutes and unlimited data
  • $109.99/month: 900 voice minutes
  • $129.99 (for 700min and unlimited everything else) Family plan for 2 iPhones ($39.99 for additional lines to family plan)
  • $209.99 3000 minutes shared plan
  • $259.99 Unlimited Family plan ($129.99 for additional lines to unlimited everything family plan)

Despite the incorrect figures posted above, the online tool provided by BillShrink.com had the correct numbers when I entered in all my own data.

Based on what I entered into BillShrink's online comparison tool, BillShrink told me, "Way to go! Based on what you've told us about your cellphone usage, it appears that you are already on the best plan! The market changes quickly so we'll let you know if money-saving opportunities become available..."

However, if I were to switch from my current plan to the Palm Pre and its associated plan, I'd end up spending an additional $211 over the next two years.

So much for saving me any money.

Bottom line? Everyone has different needs, so the balance is going to be different for each and every one of you. If you really want to know which is going to be the cheapest for you, you'll have to go through the comparison yourself.

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