Hand over your wallets! I’ve got an iPhone and you’re gonna buy it!!!

So Apple has generously reminded us that the latest saviour of our high-tech (un-American) soul goes on sale this Friday (our southern brethren were saved earlier in the year).

iPhone 4

iPhone 4 in black

And the usual tipsters have done a wonderful job digging up the non-deal-with-the-devil (or unlocked) prices. Thanks to the CBC we know that the 16 GB model will retail for about $680 while the 32 GB model will retail for about $790. To me that seems like a lot of money to pay for a phone (it’s still a phone right? We don’t have to download that app separately yet do we?!).

Now when Google launched their Nexus One Android phone to universal acclaim it retailed for US$529 unlocked (sorry, no references to “evil” in the same sentence as “Google”). Unfortunately, it is no longer available directly from Google. Even when you factor in shipping and the exchange rate you were still better off with a Nexus One than an iPhone 4!

Our buddies at gizmodo have got a nice comparison between the iPhone and the Nexus One (and couple other phones I’ve never heard of before) and we can see that specs and feature wise the Nexus One – albeit an older phone – definitely beats out the iPhone (and not just because it supports Flash!)

Now in the USA the situation is entirely different: you can’t buy an unlocked iPhone 4 there! You’ve got to get a 2-year contract with AT&T. Although you get the 32 GB model for US$299 you’re also looking at a minimum US$40/month for voice (450 minutes), US$15/month for data (200 MB), and SMS/MMS is on-top of all that! Now some would rather slit their wrists than sign a contract with a mobile phone provider – except in the land of the free you have no choice, AT&T has an exclusive on the iPhone!

A true fan-boy would think nothing of skipping a few latte’s (and making his family go hungry) to plunk down nearly a grand on a telephone that doesn’t work properly when held. But the reality is you’re just as well, if not better, off with an LG Xenon.

34 comments

  1. Getting kinda lonely in this thread.. anybody else besides Eric care to point out where the Nexus One is better specked than the iPhone ?

    Adi

  2. “(and couple other phones I’ve never heard of before) and we can see that specs and feature wise the Nexus One – albeit an older phone – definitely beats out the iPhone (and not just because it supports Flash!)”

    Wait WAT !? No really, i would like you to point out where the heck does the Nexus One beat the iPhone 4 in specs cause either i'm misinformed or i've lost my edge.

    Adi

  3. “Now in the USA the situation is entirely different: you can’t buy an unlocked iPhone 4 there! You’ve got to get a 2-year contract with AT&T. Although you get the 32 GB model for US$299 you’re also looking at a minimum US$40/month for voice (450 minutes), US$15/month for data (200 MB), and SMS/MMS is on-top of all that! Now some would rather slit their wrists than sign a contract with a mobile phone provider – except in the land of the free you have no choice, AT&T has an exclusive on the iPhone!”

    All that and you forgot to mention that you can get a 16GB iPhone 4 directly from the Apple store in the states for 599$ with no contract. Yes it is still locked to ATT but the unlock and jailbreak is being released for it this week and you'll be able to use the phone on T-Mobile with no contract albeit on EDGE only, contrary to your above statement.

    Adi

  4. $680 bucks is still $320 bucks shy of a grand and only $80 more than what our buddy Alister paid for his discontinued HTC device branded by Google.

    Also the US price is with a contract, therefore the price of the phone is fully subsidized, which brings me to my last point, You, MR Schultzter, LOVE contracts! So much so that you bought a crappy dumb XENON for the price of your SOUL to BELL. Why are you even making a big deal about this. An unsubsidized Bold 9700 is $600 and the Samsung Omnia II is $550. Apple's price is in the same ball park, expecially since three years ago an Audivox 6xxx or a Treo 650 would run you over $700

    I don't see what is so bad with $680 for a phone you can take to any country and slip in a SIM card rather than paying $199 for a voice and data contract that will run you a minimum of $40 for 36 month = $1440 over three years rather than $720 if you simply took a basic voice plan. That is still $40 cheaper… or 8 lattes for you fancy boy!

  5. Wrong, WRONG ! I was at the Apple store 2 weeks ago and you can grab an iphone 4 16GB with no contract for 599$US. The FAQ you linked to is in regards to the subsidized prices above it.

    Too bad i didn't take a pic of the price list in the Apple store as that would have been really handy right about now ! Here's a link confirming the above : http://news.yahoo.com/s/ytech_gadg/20100608/tc_

    Adi

  6. People are putting down $600 to $900 on iPads, which is media consumption and data device. The iPhone is a data and voice device, which is which is similar, yet different. So why pay less? Because its smaller, usually smaller is pricier. Then because its a phone. Again I'd have to argue that its a smart device that happens to be able to make phone calls.

    Given the choice, I'd rather pay a little to a lot more for a phone, and have the choice to switch carriers or for that matter walk away from technology without paying a breakup fee. We end up paying way more once the 2 or 3 year contract is up. I'd vote for having an expensive phone, and pick and choose my plan and carriers.

  7. Ow ow OW! Seriously dude, my head hurts, my eyes are watering! Proof read please, PLEASE!!! And please stop dragging up old stuff I've already answered, come up with some new stuff, be creative!!!

    $680 for a measly 16 GB is a rip-off! It's that easy. $680 is also more expensive than $600 or $500 (I'm good at maths, I can do trickonometrics, trust me on this one). And those were prices for top-of-the-line models, the 16GB is the bottom of the line model iPhone and it's more expensive!

    And “in the same ballpark” is a dumb-ass expression. A home run is in the same ball park as a foul!!! Unless you're Lady Gaga drop the ball park theatrics.

    The big deal is you guys (by which I mean 99% of Canucks) are salivating over a phone that costs as much as a mortgage and yet you whine & bitch about the exorbitant prices carriers charge every time some news outlet posts a story about them (even if the story isn't remotely related). If high prices bother you so much STOP PAYING THEM!!! Do you really think it costs over $600 to manufacture an iPhone?! It costs like $180 (see http://www.mobilemag.com/2010/06/18/iphone-4-pr…) so they could sell it un-locked for $200 and still make Steve Jobs richer than god (i.e.: Bill Gates) in a weekend!

  8. That Yahoo article pre-dates the release of the iPhone; and it's not what the Apple site says. Maybe if you have an iPhone 3 and want to upgrade before being eligible for any rebate you can get for $599 but they won't let you walk out without being an AT&T contract somehow.

  9. The carriers are all the same! You're going to pay almost a grand for the privilege of switching from bad to bad!? And if you're going walk away in a couple months then pay me a $1000 to take your messages and give you my opinion of restaurants for a couple months.

  10. YES THEY DO. I was in the damn Apple store 3 weeks ago in Florida and checked all those details out since i was looking to buy one. You can buy a locked to ATT iPhone 4 16GB for 599$ straight from the Apple store.

    Adi

  11. Schultzer … where to begin.

    1. Price: Based on rumor it looks like the IPhone 4 will go for 199$CDN for the 16GB locked with a 3 year contract. So that’s about a 480$ difference or 13.33$ a month over 36 months. If you are a long standing customer without a contract you can easily save that per month by calling customer retention.

    (Note: we are talking about the Canadian iPhone which is not carrier locked and all the major carriers use the same system/frequency for all of you south of the border)

    2. Contract: Signing up for a subsidized phone forces you into a limited number and generally more than you need plans costing you more. Without a contract you can modify your services as you like not just one way. And if you don't like the service, leave, because you can. You get services you can't get with a contract. I have 1000 minutes a month for 5$. Try getting that on contract.

    3. Customer service: Yes, they are happy to hear from me. You, not so much from what you have said.

    4. Not paying them: You mentioned if we don't like it don't pay them. Yes, I can, I don't have a contract. I can stop any time, go to any of the major carriers.

    5. Cool phone: My phone was expensive but it does a lot and it is getting better with age. The last OS update greatly improved the speed of the phone and it wasn't slow to begin with. Your phone is from the Chrétien era and my wife laughs at it. In 3 years its going to be even worse. It doesn't matter you pay like 10$ for data if the screen is to small to read it. Yes, I do get a headache from reading your phone.

    Schultzter, you have a phone, it does what you need it to do but the rest of us would like something more.

  12. As long as you don't abandon your contract you can modify it as much as you like: switch plans, remove features, etc. All the plans are designed to subsidize the phones, it doesn't matter which one you're on as along as you're on one – they even have plans for people who lost their phones but don't want to buy a new one until the iPhone 4 becomes available!!! (Really it's true, that's what the guy who sits behind me did!)

    Customer Service is no happier to hear from you than they are from me. Each call costs them about $15. Since you're paying a subsidy for a phone they didn't subsidize they might feel like you've paid for your call, but I'm not so sure.

    If you shop around, and be patient, you get some very good deals. Especially in the fall when kids go back to school or around x-mas/boxing day. Look at the deal I got – more features for less $$$ than I had with my previous carrier and THEY PAID ME to buy the phone!!! But if you rush out the door the moment the iPhone 4 hits the shelves your bank account is going to get raped! Patience is the buyer's best weapon, not enough people use it.

  13. Of course they PAID you to get the Xenon, it;s the only way someone will take that phone. And when you do buy a something as crappy as the Xenon, the only thing that gets raped is your patience every time you have to use it.

    People who buy Androids and iPhones simply want to do more with their devices on the go. These new smartphones are becoming more powerful and more useful then netbooks and laptops from a few years ago. I would only feel “raped” if I had to pay $680 for your phone. Sadly you will never convince a smartphone user that your Xenon is “AS GOOD”.

  14. Oh, sorry, I though it was a rhetorical question since I already pointed out that Android supports Flash whereas iPhone doesn’t. The Nexus One is also lighter, has a bigger screen, and runs Android with all the inherent advantages of an open operating system (in particular way cooler naming convention).

    I suppose you could argue having some one as brilliant as Steve Jobs deciding for you which apps you’re allowed to install (and which it’s time to remove) is an advantage, but I’m not so sure. I’d rather go with the Russian drunk and the hippie.

  15. Schulzter, you wrote 5 lines of text and the only thing where you pointed out some sort of hardware advantage is : “has a bigger screen”. You forgot however that that bigger screen has a lower resolution than the iPhone 4 and looks rather shitty for reading any text on it due to the way the AMOLED pixes are arranged by Samsung. Arstechnica (a site with credibility in the geek community that even you can’t deny) pointed this out a while ago and there was quite a bit of an upset on the interwebs about it. Here’s the relevant link for your reading pleasure : http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2010/03/secrets-of-the-nexus-ones-screen-science-color-and-hacks.ars

    Just admit you pulled your “Nexus One is better than iPhone 4” hardware wise out of your Linux zealotry hat and we’re done here.

    While his Steveness likes to dictate what to put on our phones so the most phone companies to their Android devices so you can’t mess around with the OS. Take a look at the Telus Milestone and how hard it was to get root access to it. It was almost as bad as the recent iPhone jailbreak attempts. And don’t forget that Google also has the kill trigger in their OS as well and they actually used it recently to nuke an app out of existence.

    To claim with a straight face that Android is all about freedom and iOS is all about the walled garden is pure hypocrisy. You want freedom, get an N900.

    I also beg to differ on your point about the naming convention of the 2 OSes. Android codenames their OSes on lame deserts : Eclair (eww), Froyo (gross)..

    Apple on the other hand names their iOS on super rad ski resorts : Sugar Bowl(whoa), Apex(i’d name my child that !!), Alpine (sounds german and we all know germans are cool, right ? 😉 )

    I prefer a cool ski resort to a pathetic cake anyday 😉

    Adi

  16. “you pulled your “Nexus One is better than iPhone 4″ hardware wise out of your Linux zealotry hat”

    You’re too kind – I would have said “ass” not “hat” – but you’re right. We’ll have to see if @alistermoore chimes in regarding the screen issue since he alluded to that earlier.

    And I like dessert more than I like skiing these days: dessert I can share with the kids (they only eat the icing and leave the cake for me) but I can’t take them skiing yet.

    And finally, Germans are not “cool”, they are “superior”!

  17. If you are staying in Canada, take the contract, get the big savings and you can still negotiate (as long as you do it BEFORE starting the new contract). Six months ago I got Rogers to pay my mother-in-law to take a brand new iPhone 3GS… not an easy task particularly because her contract wasn’t done. They insisted Apple regulates the prices and they weren’t allowed to drop the price on the iPhone particularly when the contract had a year to go. After a couple hours of haggling with 6 people in at least 3 different countries, they agreed to give the iphone for $699 with a $30 credit for 24 months. That way they met the Apple commitment to sell it for $699.

    As for me, I plan to pick up a new iPhone 4 sans contrat. The phone accounts for less than 5% of the usage of the iPhone. It must be unlocked, because I’m now up to 3 cell phone numbers. I have Pay-as-you-go in Czech Republic & Poland, plus a Rogers plan in Montreal and I DETEST roaming. My Krakow (Poland) number costs me about 100 PLN (Polish zlotys) = $35CAD for about 3-4 months of usage including phone calls, SMS, data. Any phone calls I make from Poland to anywhere else (ie Montreal) I call via Skype VOIP on the iPhone for free on Wifi or for about $0.008/min on 3G. YES I got the zeros correct that is what the data costs for making my 3G VOIP calls. (Note I have not included my unlimited Skype North America plan which costs me
    $2.50/month to make unlimited calls to any phone in North America.)

    A couple months back I got stuck in a airport mess needing to book a new flight. At 6AM krakow time, the single airline agent from LOT wanted $5000 to get me on a one-way flight towards montreal anytime that day. When it was midnight eastern time on a Saturday night, I needed to coordinate communication between expedia in a New York office and Lufthansa main office in Germany from the Krakow airport at 6am. The combination of various iPhone apps plus more than 2 hours of international VOIP phone calls in the airport saved me over $1500 that morning and got me on a flight for the fees I had already paid.

    It took me a long time to come to this conclusion, but $700 on such a powerful pocket computer (unlocked) such as the iPhone will save me thousands. Particularly when it helps me avoid roaming charges. In Poland, my monthly fees rarely exceed $15CAD with taxes and fees included as long as I don’t roam outside the country. Plus I don’t pay a penny during all those times that I’m not even in Poland… the line is free.

    Since I use video calling daily… any extra more convenient ways to do that are simply a bonus. Plus with the iOS4 Skype runs in the background and receives Skype calls on Wifi or 3G. In addition I have a local Montreal phone number that rings my skype account for free anywhere in the world that I have data access on my iPhone.

    The Polish price for an unlocked iPhone is usually about $150 more. So I’ll buy mine here.

  18. After 12 months of Jailbreaking and unlocking my 3GS… I can certainly attest it can be a lot of work to keep everything working in full perfect order. Particularly if you want to advantage of any of the latest features, you need all the major OS updates and jailbreaks become more challenging to maintain. I never cared about the jailbreaking… but I needed to unlock. When you are the point of needing to have SSH client/server setups to textedit various config files, it is not surprising you can run into problems.

    It is very straightforward to maintain the jailbreaks/unlocks on older hardware/OS. The iPhone 3G/OS 3.0 is a breeze. Anything newer than that has caused plenty of problems (or at least constant work).

    But if you are in Canada, staying in Canada there is absolute no need for all this jailbreaking headaches unless you are really into all the pirating which I was not interested in.

  19. Congrats on getting Rogers to pay you $20 for the iPhone. I have some issues with my final bill maybe you can help me with? :)

    I wish phones, especially smart phones, were treated more like computers. I was really expecting Google to do that with Android. Make it so you just buy the device from a retail outlet, without having to do deal with service providers and their insistence that you need this and that feature and the other plan or you’re not worthy of buying a smartphone. But alas, that hasn’t happened (in Canada at least – not all of us get out that much :)

    And you’re obviously pushing the limits of the phone’s capabilities. But look at the data coming from the US: most people use less than 200 MB of data per month! They’re not arranging international flights across three timezones in two continents – they’re playing solitaire!

  20. I was really expecting Google to do that with Android. Make it so you just buy the device from a retail outlet, without having to do deal with service providers and their insistence that you need this and that feature and the other plan or you’re not worthy of buying a smartphone. But alas, that hasn’t happened (in Canada at least – not all of us get out that much :)

    What the hell are you talking about!?!? Are you not even reading these comments? Or are you reading them on your Xenon and it;s skipping whole paragraphs because your exceeding your $10/month data usage? This is exactly what Alister and Stephane have just done. One with a Google Nexus One and the other with an iPhone. The whole point of walking into an Apple store and buying a full priced mini computer is so you don’t have to deal with the carrier and can stick to what ever plan you already have.

  21. Everybody wants instant gratification. Nobody tends to care about the delayed cost. Without the locked-in carrier subsidies, most people don’t buy it. I think that is why Google didn’t have more success… brand new launch no monopoly so the carriers don’t want to invest to promote it. Consumers want low upfront cost, not low total cost. Carriers want monopoly before they invest BIG marketing dollars.

  22. I am reading all the comments, in great detail! In particular Stephane’s comment below about the trials & tribulations of unlocking his 3GS! He didn’t buy it unlocked. When the 4 becomes available in Canada we’ll see if you can just cash & carry or if you have to associate to a new or existing contract somewhere. And we know they’ll only support Robellus’ spectrum – not WIND’s (or any AWS).

    Admittedly Google did do that, to a limited degree, with the Nexus One (i.e.: not in the USA), but not with Android (I think @mtl_steve ranted about mixing up the OS and the device recently, didn’t he?)

    And my data plan is unlimited!

  23. It is clear to me that the new iPhone will be available cash & carry. You are paying for the privilege to have it unlocked and without contract. Same conditions as the iPad (as long as you pay full price). If you prefer the cheaper subsidized price and contract you can choose that as well.

    Apple has been selling factory unlocked iPhones directly in dozens of countries around the world since the very beginning. This is not a new concept for Apple, it is only new in Canada so it is unlikely there will be any issues. The Americans are still getting left out.

    In some countries it is actually illegal to have these subsidized contract-bound phone setups, so the iPhone is only available full price along with every other phone.

  24. Ask not 'what will my phone do for me?' but rather 'what will I do with my phone?'

    So, what have you done lately with your phone to justify the exorbitant amount of money you paid for it?!

  25. What has my phone done for me, everything your phone can't: Multiple Exchange email accounts, Turn by turn GPS, quite a good camera, google analytics package, real apps and proper games.

    Now stop being so arrogant and quit stomping your feet on the ground like a toddler until someone admits you are right because that won't happen in this thread.

    Pick your battles XENON BOY.

  26. I don't know about Exchange accounts – I use the GMail app on my phone, not the built-in e-mail client. It would surprise though if it supported exchange, but it's not something I really need so not something I would consider when deciding which phone to buy.

    I'm checking the Google Maps app on my phone right now (to get directions from my desk to the coffee machine). Yup, turn by turn, cool! I didn't know I could do that, thanks! Although, I never need directions anyways :)

    As for real apps, my phone has access to the largest app store on the internet!

    XENON 4 EVER!!!

  27. Brian from the wet coast
    July 28, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Sorry jumping in late, the price quoted on the Iphone did that include the duct tape radio fix or do you have to buy your own duct tape?

    As for the phone, the plan, etc. Then the follow up question why not by a high end phone, a monitor and a keyboard, (maybe an additional hard drive? At that point the phone becomes a flexible cost effective computer. Personally the squabbling over the different phones is a little short sited on the price point. find one that does what you need it to do then find it as cheap as possible. Even at $600 USD with life span of 3 years it is not that expensive. Look at your purchases and life expentancy then compare. 200 days of work a year 2$ coffees (one per day, hah) that is $400. With no chance of extending the life into future years. Now do I spend $600 on one or $400 on the other? which is going to be easiest to use, and last the longest. I think really the focus on price is a little lost. I can get a family of four to Vancouver for under $100. ok so you have to peddle the whole way and may need to practice with some people from the 3rd world on how best to load the bike with your family but it is cost effective. I rant which is the best product and why then I can decide if the price difference is worth it.

    Remember advice is worth what you paid for it.

  28. LMAO at your opening line!

    I totally agree with your reasoning (except you base your calculations on the Vancouver price of coffee :) Far too often people are buying the shiny new thing because it's shiny and new – not because it actually fulfills their usage requirements.