There’s a double rainbow of trending Twitter topics right now: iPhone 5 $800 and #800DollarsForAniPhone. The people of Twitter are aghast! Aren’t iPhones supposed to cost $200? “For $800, this phone better [insert outrageous task] for me!” says everyone.
Smart phones cost far less than their suggested prices, thanks to carrier subsidization. That two-year contract you lock yourself into every time you pay $200 for a fancy phone? That’s how it’s $200 — because you’ve agreed to pay Verizon, AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile $80-plus a month for the next two years. In return, you get an $800 phone for $200.
For reference, here’s what Apple sells “unlocked” — meaning you’d buy the phone without agreeing to a two-year service contract, forgoing the subsidized handset price in the process — iPhones for right now: 8-GB iPhone 4, $549; 16-GB iPhone 4S, $649; 32-GB iPhone 4S, $749; 64-GB iPhone 4S, $849.
That’s why it’s important to not lose or damage your phone. Even though you paid $200 for it, it costs a lot more than $200 to replace if you’re not up for a contract renewal.
Aside from all that, this $800 rumor is pure speculation. If there’s a grain of truth to it, $800 is almost certainly the price of one of the models of phones when purchased without a contract. If any carrier tried to sell the new iPhone for $800 with a two-year contract, nobody would buy it.
Actually, don’t quote me on that. You never know with Apple stuff.
The new iPhone — whenever it comes out and whatever features it’s got — will be priced in line with other smart phones sold via wireless carriers in the U.S., though. That’s a given.
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