April 3rd 2012
I was looking at the cost of smart phones recently on the Irish network, Meteor. I couldn't really understand why the iPhone was so much cheaper at €49, compared to €119 for Galaxy Nexus, or €129 for the Galaxy S2. But I wasn't looking with any intention to buy, so didn't dwell on it at the time.
Yesterday, there was a somewhat related thread on Boards.ie and I mentioned that the price on offer makes the iPhone much more attractive. Someone cleared it up: look at the contracts.
Meteor have special contracts for their iPhone users. These start at €45/month for 24 months, which gets you 200 texts, 200 minutes and 5GB of data. Plus the €49 once-off fee, that means you're locked into paying €1174 for the phone + service over 2 years.
The Android phones use the standard meteor contracts: a minimum €20/month for 18 months, getting you 200 texts, 200 minutes and 1GB of data. (18 * 20) + 119 = €479. So actually, much much cheaper. Just a bit more up front.
The only difference the iPhone contract has over a standard contract is the tasty 5GB of data (compared with 1GB) but if you need more than one (which is probably fine for most), a 10GB add-on costs €15.24/month, and that's still cheaper: (18 * 20) + 119 + (18 * 16) = €767. And twice the size! Although I'd prefer 5GB and half the price myself, but unfortunately they don't do that.