At just $199, the iPhone 3G will cost about half as much as the current model when it comes out on July 11. Or will it? A post on consumer affairs blog Consumerist suggests the new-and-improved iPhone will in fact cost users more in the long run than the previous model.
According to Consumerist's post, AT&T charged $39 a month for the cheapest iPhone voice plan, and users had to pay an extra $20 a month for a data plan. Take $399 and add $59 a month for the contract's two-year duration, and you get a total of $1,815. The post goes on to say AT&T's data plan for the iPhone 3G will cost an extra $10 per month, and users will have to pay for the previously free SMS plan—$5 for 200 messages, to be specific. $199 plus $74 a month for 24 months works out to $1,975, or $160 more than for the original.
Consumerist says Gizmodo has confirmed these numbers, although that site argues the iPhone 3G's built-in GPS and 3G connectivity might make it worth the extra dough. We should also point out that $160 over two years means only $6.67 more per month, which doesn't quite break the bank. Still, those readying their credit cards for the new iPhone probably shouldn't expect a bargain.