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.
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.
So, as we can see here, on individual plans your iPhone bill is almost identical for similar features on another individual plan.
Same as with the individual plans with extended minutes.
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.
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!