Is the iPhone 3G Worth It?

by Broke Grad on July 8, 2008

There has been a lot of buzz about the iPhone 3G lately. For those of you who haven’t heard, they go on sale this Friday, July 11, and not surprisingly, there’s already a line at Apple’s flagship store in New York. While I’m definitely not planning to wait in line to get an iPhone 3G on the first day, I am considering getting one later this year.

One of the biggest selling points of the new iPhone is the price drop. With a two-year contract with AT&T, the price of an 8GB iPhone 3G will be $199, and the price of the 16GB model will be $299. That’s half the price of the first generation iPhone. So what’s the catch?

AT&T will be increasing a few charges for the iPhone 3G. The unlimited 3G data plan is $10 more than the current unlimited plan for iPhone users. Also, the plan does not include text messages, so that’s another $5 per month to get 200 text messages. I don’t feel like crunching numbers right now, but fortunately, someone else has already done the math.

It’s estimated that the voice and data plan for the iPhone 3G will cost an extra $15 to 17 dollars per month compared to what current iPhone users are paying now. That means over the course of the 2 year contract, you’ll pay between $360-408 more than current iPhone users. Of course, that means even after subtracting the amount you save on the iPhone itself, the iPhone 3G actually costs you over a hundred dollars more in the long run.

However, one could argue that the new features are worth the extra cost. I’m considering getting an iPhone 3G, because I’ll be able to have my phone, iPod, Internet, and GPS all in one unit. If I were to buy all of these devices individually, I think it would cost the same amount or more than it would cost to get an iPhone 3G.

Once you throw in the great features like the multi-touch interface, maps with GPS, and the fact that you only have to carry around one device, and my final decision is clear. I think that the iPhone 3G is definitely worth the price with one major caveat — if, and only if, it fits within your budget.

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