Regardless, choice is a good thing– except when you make the wrong choice. So, here’s my personal guide; a list of factors to consider so you make the right decision for your next
iPhone smartphone, regardless of model, carrier, or plan.
Cost vs. Wants
If you know you’re going to buy an iPhone instead of a Samsung Galaxy This™ or a Motorola That™ or anything sporting a Windows logo, you can stop reading.
You’re on the right track but there are more than a few other considerations that go beyond just the iPhone model you can afford.
First on my list is the cost of the
iPhone smartphone and that’s not always easy to determine. Why not? There’s price and total cost of ownership (TCO). They’re not the same.
Cell phone carriers usually hide the purchase cost in the monthly payments for a new phone and a monthly plan for calls, texting, and data.
In other words, they don’t really want you know what you’re paying over 24 months so you’ll stay locked into their plan and not stray from the fold.
T-Mobile, my cell phone carrier, has a slightly different approach. You can buy a new
iPhone smartphone on a monthly payment plan, pay only for the phone itself, and pay only for the plan you choose, and month-to-month– no long contract.
Good, right? Except if you decide to switch from T-Mobile you’ll have to pay off your new
iPhone smartphone immediately. Gotcha!
Which Carrier Is Best?
The answer depends upon where you live or work or where you’ll be most when you need a good signal for your
iPhone smartphone. Choose wisely because you may be stuck with a carrier signal that doesn’t match the coverage map on their website.
Cell phone carriers love long term contracts, too. That’s why the barrier to entry to buy a new
iPhone smartphone is so low. You’re not paying the price of a new phone up front– it comes in monthly payments attached to your monthly plan.
Figuring out how much data to get in your plan is a challenge, too, and most carriers have limits to the data you can use without being charged more.
The Balancing Act
Figuring out which
iPhone smartphone to buy is the easy part. Figuring out which carrier to use and which plan to sign up for can be a daunting exercise in futility. That’s OK, though, because that’s exactly what the carriers want you to do.
The math? No. They want you to try the math but get tired of trying to figure it out and just go with the brand you can remember from the last television commercial you saw.
About 85-percent of all the smartphones sold in the U.S. come from Apple or Samsung, and most of those are available on AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile (and other regional carriers); each with low barrier to entry ways to get you onboard for free or $100 or $200.
Not mentioned in most total-cost-of-ownership analysis is how much your used
iPhone smartphone is worth when you get a new one. Apple’s iPhone always leads the pack in value, which helps to reduce the TCO substantially.
Confused? Of course. That’s what the cell phone carriers want. Confused sheep who keep renewing their cell phone contracts and service plan every year or two. For me, I decided to break the mold they cast for me at Verizon and AT&T, and bought an iPhone 6 for T-Mobile.