It's no secret that in addition to the initial price for the iPhone, that there's also months upon months of service plans to pay as well. BillShrink.com gave us some perspective yesterday, showing just how much of an Apple tax we really do pay for the iPhone.
In a very easy-to-read infographic, the site pits the entry level iPhone 3G S against the Palm Pre and Android G1 to see what you exactly get and how much you're paying for it when you sign up with the exclusive US carrier for each device (AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile respectively).
The winner, when it comes to storage space and features, is the iPhone 3G S. But, it's also showing that the Android G1 isn't that bad of a deal either. Its 3.2MP camera just squeaks by the iPhone and it has both a lower subsidized cost and price without contract.
But where Apple really loses is the overall cost of ownership. By far, the cheapest phone to own over a two-year period is the Palm Pre, which clocks in at $2,400. The cost calculated is based off of a service plan with two years of unlimited voice, data, and messaging services. The Android G1 follows with $3,240 and finally the iPhone 3G S at $3,600 -- not including tax for any of them.
Edit: There was some confusion on the back-end of TUAW about whether or not those numbers are for the service plans alone, or if they include the initial cost of the handset. As originally stated, the final totals in the graphic DO NOT include the cost of the headset. For example, the iPhone plan is $99.99+$30+$20 x 24 months = $3599.96 -- rounds to $3600, that matches what's in the graphic. The same holds true for the Android G1 and Palm Pre as well.