It's no secret or surprise that Apple pushed AT&T into whipping up some new plans for the iPhone -- specialness aside, one look at AT&T and users can get lost in its myriad plans, 44 in all (including prepaid, data, etc.). Not exactly the streamlined customer Apple experience cherishes, so the iPhone just comes with just a few service options (and not a lot to configure) -- but is there really the "Apple premium" associated with buying an iPhone and using the iPhone plan with AT&T? Only one way to find out: let's look at the numbers.

A note on AT&T data plans
We know AT&T has a lot of data plans to choose from, and your average AT&T CSR would have told us that to match the iPhone's service features your average smartphone user would need to buy the PDA Personal plan (for $30 a month) with a $5 200 SMS add-on. (According to Apple, iPhone users can sign up for this, or any other data plan they choose.)

The reality is a lot of in-store reps will just give smartphone users the MEdia Max 200 bundle, which their non-smartphone unlimited data + 200 SMS plan -- but costs $15 less per month (at $20) and is a lot closer to what you'd be paying for the iPhone. We know this isn't the "official" way of comparing AT&T's listed prices, but it's certainly the most fair real world scenario. Ready to dig into the numbers that dig into your wallet?

All prices listed include current rebates and promos (where available), valid as of June 26th.

iPhone 4GB iPhone 8GB 3125 BB Curve BB Pearl Treo 750 BlackJack 8525
Base price $500 $600 $350 $450 $400 $550 $325 $600
Price (2 yr) $500 $600 $100 $200 $150 $200 $75 $300
Speed EDGE EDGE EDGE EDGE EDGE 3G 3G 3G
Data plan iPhone plan iPhone plan MM200 BB Internet BB Internet MM200 MM200 MM200
Data cost Included Included $19.99 $34.99 $34.99 $19.99 $19.99 $19.99
Base / month $79.99 $79.99 $59.99 $59.99 $59.99 $59.99 $59.99 $59.99
Cost / month $79.99 $79.99 $79.98 $94.98 $94.98 $79.98 $79.98 $79.98
Cost / year $959 $959 $959 $1,139 $1,139 $959 $959 $959
Cost / 2 years $1,919 $1,919 $1,919 $2,279 $2,279 $1,919 $1,919 $1,919
Total cost $2,419 $2,519 $2,019 $2,479 $2,429 $2,119 $1,994 $2,219


Plan cost comparison done with base iPhone plan contrasted with closest available AT&T minute plan and MEdia Max 200 bundle. Cost does not include activation fees.

Individual plan
iPhone 450 Nation 450 iPhone 900 Nation 900 iPhone 1350 Nation 1350
Minutes 450 450 900 900 1350 1350
Unlimited data x $19.99 x $19.99 x $19.99
(Visual) voicemail x x x x x x
SMS 200 inc 200 inc 200 inc 200 inc 200 inc 200 inc
Nights + weekends 5000 5000 unlimited unlimited unlimited unlimited
Rollover x x x x x x
Unlimited M2M x x x x x x
Activation fee $36 $36 $36 $36 $36 $36
Monthly service $59.99 $39.99 $79.99 $59.99 $99.99 $79.99
Total cost per month $59.99 $59.98 $79.99 $79.98 $99.99 $99.98
Cost for 1 year $719.88 $719.76 $959.88 $959.76 $1,199.88 $1,199.76
Cost for 2 years $1,439.76 $1,439.52 $1,919.76 $1,919.52 $2,399.76 $2,399.52
So, as we can see here, on individual plans your iPhone bill is almost identical for similar features on another individual plan.

Individual plan (with extended minutes)
iPhone 2000 Unity 2000 iPhone 4000 Unity 4000 iPhone 6000 Unity 6000
Minutes 2000 2000 4000 4000 6000 6000
Unlimited data x $19.99 x $19.99 x $19.99
(Visual) voicemail x x x x x x
SMS 200 inc 200 inc 200 inc 200 inc 200 inc 200 inc
Nights + weekends x x x x x x
Rollover x not inc x not inc x not inc
AT&T unity minutes not inc x not inc x not inc x
Unlimited M2M x x x x x x
Activation fee $36 $36 $36 $36 $36 $36
Monthly service $119.99 $99.99 $169.99 $149.99 $219.99 $199.99
Total cost per month $119.99 $119.98 $169.99 $169.98 $219.99 $219.98
Cost for 1 year $1,439.88 $1,439.76 $2,039.88 $2,039.76 $2,639.88 $2,639.76
Cost for 2 years $2,879.76 $2,879.52 $4,079.76 $4,079.52 $5,279.76 $5,279.52
Same as with the individual plans with extended minutes.

Family plan
iPhone 700 Nation 700 iPhone 1400 Nation 1400 iPhone 2100 Nation 2100
Minutes 700 700 1400 1400 2100 2100
Unlimited data x $19.99 x $19.99 x $19.99
(Visual) voicemail x x x x x x
SMS 200 inc 200 inc 200 inc 200 inc 200 inc 200 inc
Nights + weekends unlimited unlimited unlimited unlimited unlimited unlimited
Rollover x x x x x x
Unlimited M2M x x x x x x
Additional lines $29.99 $9.99 $29.99 $9.99 $29.99 $9.99
Activation fee $36 $36 $36 $36 $36 $36
Monthly service $80.00 $69.99 $100.00 $89.99 $120.00 $109.99
1 line per month $80.00 $89.98 $100.00 $109.98 $120.00 $129.98
2 lines $109.99 $119.96 $129.99 $139.96 $149.99 $159.96
3 lines $139.98 $149.94 $159.98 $169.94 $179.98 $189.94
Cost for 3 lines, 1 year $1,679.76 $1,799.28 $1,919.76 $2,039.28 $2,159.76 $2,279.28
Cost for 3 lines, 2 years $3,359.52 $3,598.56 $3,839.52 $4,078.56 $4,319.52 $4,558.56
It's only once we get in the family plans that we can see a difference. Adding an iPhone and smartphone with data and 200 SMS to your family plan costs the same, but the base service for that first line is where there's a price disparity -- $10 per month. It's not a lot, but it adds up over time.

Family plan (with extended minutes)
iPhone 3000 Nation 3000 iPhone 4000 Nation 4000 iPhone 6000 Nation 6000
Minutes 3000 3000 4000 4000 6000 6000
Unlimited data x $19.99 x $19.99 x $19.99
(Visual) voicemail x x x x x x
SMS 200 inc 200 inc 200 inc 200 inc 200 inc 200 inc
Nights + weekends unlimited unlimited unlimited unlimited unlimited unlimited
Rollover x not inc x not inc x not inc
Unlimited M2M x x x x x x
Additional lines $29.99 $9.99 $29.99 $9.99 $29.99 $9.99
Activation fee $36 $36 $36 $36 $36 $36
Monthly service $160.00 $149.99 $210.00 $199.99 $310.00 $299.99
1 line per month $160.00 $169.98 $210.00 $219.98 $310.00 $319.98
2 lines $189.99 $199.96 $239.99 $249.96 $339.99 $349.96
3 lines $219.98 $229.94 $269.98 $279.94 $369.98 $379.94
Cost for 3 lines, 1 year $2,639.76 $2,759.28 $3,239.76 $3,359.28 $4,439.76 $4,559.28
Cost for 3 lines, 2 years $5,279.52 $5,518.56 $6,479.52 $6,718.56 $8,879.52 $9,118.56
Same is true here: extended minutes family plans still have that $10 price premium.

The bottom line
Shockingly enough, iPhone users actually stand to save a decent chunk of change if they're on family plans -- but for the most part the significantly higher cost of the device will offset that savings there as well as in comparable individual plans. It's just really hard to argue with a $75 BlackJack, you know?

But to put this another way: those worried that your iPhone will cost you a lot more in service fees than you'd pay otherwise, worry not. You're (obviously) going to pay more for the device itself, but the iPhone plans are totally fair, based on AT&T's current pricing scheme.

P.S. -We're sincerely hoping we didn't fudge any of those numbers, but please let us know if they don't quite add up!