Most iPhone owners pay over $100 a month to carriers

By , Jan 30, 2013

AT&T black iPhone 5

The next time you visit your local carrier asking for an iPhone, don’t freak-out too much if the salesperson doesn’t respond right away – it could be that loud ‘ca-ching!’ sound.

Nearly 60 percent of iPhone owners pay more than $100 per month to carriers – 10 percent paying more than $200 each month, according to a new survey released Wednesday.

By comparison, 55 percent of Android smartphone owners, 40 percent of BlackBerry owners and 56 percent of Windows Phone users have smartphone bills more than $100 per month, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners…

Nearly half of iPhone owners pay between $101 to $200 per month, while 36 percent pay between $51 to $100 each month, researchers say.

Further indicating iPhone contracts are lucrative for carriers, only six percent of Apple smartphone owners pay between $25 to $50 – no iPhone contract is worth under $25, according to the findings.

We shouldn’t be too quick to jump to the conclusion that iPhone owners are data hogs, racking up charges by siphoning app after hi-def video. Although AT&T and other carriers who’ve used iPhone owners as justification for data caps would like you to believe such a thing, reality paints a different picture.

“We think it has to do with their data plans and carriers, rather than their usage habits,” CIRP co-founder Michael Levin told the Wall Street Journal’s All Things D.

Android owners, by comparison, often use prepaid plans or regional carriers that don’t mask Levin said while “all” iPhone owners have expensive data contracts, Android owners often user prepaid plans or sign with regional carriers that don’t adopt expensive subsidies to attract iPhone owners.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has defended the high subsidies carriers must offer to mask the real price of the iPhone. describing the amount as “fairly small.”

Besides, Cook argues, iPhone users tend to stay with carriers, allowing wireless providers to recoup their costs in lucrative data plans.

Indeed, 88 percent of iPhones were reactivated with the same carrier, compared to 64 percent for Android owners. Just nine percent of Windows Phone owners and seven percent of RIM users stay with the same carrier, CIRP found.

AT&T, the first U.S. carrier to offer the iPhone, recently announced it activated 8.6 million iPhones during the 2012 holiday fourth-quarter. Both AT&T and Verizon – the No. 1 and No. 2 domestic carriers – are talking of ending subsidies, as well.

However, there are move afoot that could mean the demise of iPhone subsidies. T-Mobile is mulling the idea of letting customers buy the Apple handset for full price, but pay in installments.

  • Share:
  • Follow:
  • FabianPVD

    I’m the only one with an iPhone on my plan and before I had it, the bill was still over $100 for myself and three other members. Just depends on the carrier and plan, don’t really think the iPhone itself has much to do with it.

    • pauleebe

      True it’s not iPhone specific (I hate when people call them iPhone plans), but pertinent to all smartphones equally.

  • Johnathan Jennings

    My i5 is on a plan by itself and I pay right at $97/Mo
    It’s crazy

  • Christophe

    Yes it is so true.

  • http://www.facebook.com/zech19 Zeze Loco Sterlin

    I pay $60 Thanx to the hospital. Still have my unlimited data. Well it’s not really unlimited since these fuckers slow my shit down after 3 gb of use.

    • anasiatka

      @facebook-1139500972:disqus – I was in your same boat until I upgraded to the iPhone 5. AT&T (if that is who you are with) will give 5GB of unlimited speeds on an LTE device. Then, it goes back to a faster speed then what you may be used to now. Before, on my 4s I was getting like 4-7MB down and 1 MB upload speeds until I hit that 3GB mark and then I was thrown into the 1990’s to dialup speeds. Needless to say I could not do anything at those speeds. However, in my experience with my iPhone 5 I have not had any issues and the LTE is FAST! I get ~25MB download and ~25MB upload speeds! These are actual tests. You can turn off the LTE to save battery life (although I have not noticed it really being an issue for me so I typically leave it on) once you get to 5GB. Even when I do get to 5GB, my speeds are still pretty decent and allows me to still watch movies via Netflix without issue. Sorry for the long read but I know how frustrating it was for me so hope this helps you.

      • http://www.facebook.com/zech19 Zeze Loco Sterlin

        Did it increase your bill after you changed your data plan?

      • anasiatka

        @facebook-1139500972:disqus Nope. There was no changes at all on my plan or cost except for instead of Unlimited Data for iPhone it is Unlimited LTE Data for iPhone (or something like that).

      • http://www.facebook.com/zech19 Zeze Loco Sterlin

        Ok I’ll do that once I get my iphone 5s or whatever they gonna call it

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brandon-Bolden/723717062 Brandon Bolden

      AT&T used to throttle me back when they first started doing that. But it’s been months since they throttled me and I use like 5-6gb a month.

      • anasiatka

        @facebook-723717062:disqus Do you have an iPhone 4s or 5?

  • http://twitter.com/owlcityhootowl Andrew’s OwlCity

    I pay $175 w/ verizon (10gb data, unlmtd messages & calls)

    • Kaptivator

      Phuck That!! More power to you man!

  • SetMeStraight OrAmIRight

    “Indeed, 88 percent of iPhones were reactivated with the same carrier, compared to 64 percent for Android owners. Just nine percent of Windows Phone owners and seven percent of RIM users stay with the same carrier, CIRP found.”

    It’s much more difficult to unlock an iPhone than the other devices listed. More difficult in terms of cost or guarantee of unlocking. Therefore it accounts for the further difficulty of bringing your device to another carrier. Ex. some android and blackberry carrier unlock codes for for ~$10 on eBay.

    Just my personal experience, but I have some friends with iPhones that they bought outright in order to switch carriers, and they pay ~$30/month. And in general, NA is known to have ridiculously high monthly bills for cell phones.

  • PJ

    Well that’s why I always buy an iPhone from the US..
    Where I live the iPhone 5 costs 1200$ and that is pretty much insane
    It’s “only” 700$ in the US if it’s unlocked..
    I hate the stupid prices in my country…

  • samdchuck

    Whaaat? I pay 15 prepaid whenever I need it, that gives me 2000 SMS and 2 Gb for the month and 15 for calling and extra data or SMS which rolls over until I haven’t recharged after 6 months or so. I can’t even imagine dumping anything near $100 a month.

    • No Whammy

      But you’re OK with buying an iPhone at full price?

      • samdchuck

        Yes. It’s cheaper for me, and I much rather pay for a device in full that I’m free to do with as I please then to then overpay for a service I do not need or use. And even if it wasn’t cheaper I would still prefer not being tied to a two year contract for which I have no use for.

      • No Whammy

        That may make sense in your case. You’re obviously not in the US.

  • cd

    I pay $45 a month on my prepaid plan , but I had to buy the phone outright for $550

    • GuyBey0ndC00L

      That phone may seem like a high price now but in the longer run your saving tons of money. Smart move my man. If you can afford to paid up front why not.

    • Grégoire

      I pay $27 , all illimited in france (sosh)

    • steiney

      What are your data speeds? How many minutes and texts do you get? How good is your coverage and what part of the county do you live in? I know walmart offers that “Straight Talk” plan, but the data speeds are horrendously slow, to the point that the phone is unusable.

    • http://www.andrewcassone.tk/ NY Andrew

      I pay $32, but you’re right, buying it out right was a BITCHHH!!! Talk about watching your bank account go down fast lol, mine was around $700 total when I bought the iPhone 4S when it first came out for Virgin Mobile. I was just SOO happy that the iPhone was being offered Pre-Paid I jumped on that mofo so fast lol

  • http://twitter.com/the415giant F P

    125$ a month, unlimited everything AT&T

  • Jose Gonzalez

    I use to have my iPhone on AT&T before where i had the unlimited plan paying $105 a month. That had been going on since 2008. Recently in August of 2012 I finally took a stand and dropped AT&T for Straight Talk. I now pay $45 a month. Still have great service and have not experienced any problems.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jack.tetero Jack Tetero

    iPhone is only for people with good income. Every other platform is for people on food stamps and ghetto’s.

    • RarestName

      Over here, the plans for all popular smartphones are roughly the same.

  • http://www.facebook.com/liamsagooch Liam Googolplex Merlyn

    £26 (around $41) a month for unlimited texts, 1GB of data and 600 minutes

  • http://twitter.com/xXJeanmarchpXx JeanMarc

    I pay 125 a month on AT&T

  • ap3604

    My plan per month:
    $40 – 450 min with ATT (before 15% corporate discount)
    $30 – Unlimited data with ATT (before 15% corporate discount)
    $2.50 – Unlimited wifi calls with Skype
    $0.00 – Unlimited text messaging with Google Voice

    • No Whammy

      Pretty decent way to go. I do similar but don’t talk that much to non-AT&T customers (so no need for Skype) and everyone I know has iMessage (no need for Google Voice).

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brandon-Bolden/723717062 Brandon Bolden

    I only pay around 75$. Grandfathered unlimited data AT&T. Domino’s Pizza employee discount 19%

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1313407682 Brian Allan Gillis

    Straight Talk with MMS and Data fix. $45 for unlim everything

    • http://www.facebook.com/steven.vogt.14 Steven Vogt

      I saw that sounds like a good deal but how’s the data? Speed wise and coverage?

  • pauleebe

    Hopefully T-mobile can help shake things up this year. Down with the big carriers!

  • notewar

    Paid $15 for $550 value cap with 1.5GB of Data (3G)

  • pawfyd

    I pay around $10 a month with my prepaid plan. I have 1 GB on transfer a month included for free. Crazy US, why pay that much? What for?! My mind can’t get this at all!

  • http://www.facebook.com/steven.vogt.14 Steven Vogt

    I pay $103 with Verizon for 450 mins unlimited text and data and insurance.. I got a iPhone 5 and paid full price to keep my unlimited LTE data and I gotta say it was well worth it, I get an average of 30mb down and 10 up with no throttling it’s awesome!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/angelofchit May T. Win

    I have 5 lines in my account, 3 iPhones with data n 2 just regular phones. out of 3 iphones, 2 has $25 data plan and 1 has $15 data plan on AT&T. my bill is $200 all total.i only have 700 mins with unlimited text and unlimited cell phone to any cell phone. i still have roll over minutes.

  • 4p0c4lyps3

    $100.53. Still unlimited.

  • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

    I pay $47.50 after fighting my carrier. Only 500 MB of data and every other calling/voice-mail feature. Will soon the roaring on the phone for a upgraded data plan as my contract is over ;P

  • steiney

    How does someone manage to get an iPhone on a cellular plan for $50 or less per month?!?!?! If It’s doable, I’d sure like to know how!

    • http://www.andrewcassone.tk/ NY Andrew

      Virgin Mobile! :)

    • No Whammy

      They pay full price for their phone or take their 2-year-old (out of contract) phone over.

  • galdamita

    “iPay”………just $35 per month, $15 for 3GB of data, unlimited calls in the carrier´s network and $20 to call others carriers…….

  • http://twitter.com/Jsal017 Javier Salinas

    I pay between $95 and $100 for my unlimited data plan which includes 1000 min for 2 lines. I used to pay ATT $180 for 550 min and 2 gb of data. Plus, now I can switch between my iphone and gs3 whenever I want

  • http://www.facebook.com/stevstot Steven Stotlar

    I only pay $40 a month, What plans charge $100-$200?

    • No Whammy

      4G for one, unlimited data for two, contract phones for three.

  • jose castro

    I only pay 70 a month.. With a grandfathered Internet plan… Unlimited text and unlimited calling… Lol I guess working at a hospital that gives me a 30% discount at att is awesome :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Hart/1553850615 James Hart

    I use Straight Talk on my iPhone 4S and pay $48 a month for unlimited text, talk, and data.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Hart/1553850615 James Hart

      I used to be with AT&T. Since I switched over I haven’t really noticed anything different here in Eastern NC.MMS and data are good once the APN setting have been set and Siri seems happy.

  • http://www.andrewcassone.tk/ NY Andrew

    PROUD TO BE APART OF THE 6%!!!!!!! :D TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!!

  • Winski

    IPhone 5 with unlimited EVERYHTING, $ 70 / mo. From T-Mumble… Any other questions?

    • No Whammy

      How’s your 4G?

  • http://twitter.com/ASHNIL1 ASHNIL

    I pay only $30.00 with t-mobile