Apple Inc. has some good news for those who have been set back over $600 for its newest toy, the iPhone: customers will pay less in service fees as compared to other phone users. CEO Steve Jobs also announced that users can activate their iPhones via iTunes in minutes, as opposed to lining up in stores. The iPhone will be available in all of Apple’s 162 stores, in addition to 1,800 of AT&T’s outlets at 6 p.m. in each U.S. time zone on June 29.
"AT&T Inc.'s calling plans for the phone will cost $59.99 to $219.99 a month, spokesman Michael Coe said. Similar plans for other phones cost $65 to about $225, according to AT&T's Web site."
"AT&T's plans for the iPhone offer between 450 and 6,000 minutes a month and include 200 text messages, unlimited data use and a voicemail feature that lets users scroll through a list of messages. The activation fee is $36."
Although the savings seem to be relatively modest, Apple remains enthusiastic about the iPhone, expecting it to become one of its main products like the iPod. In fact, back in January Steve Jobs was confident that 10 million units would be sold in 2008, which would represent a 1% market share of all cell phones worldwide. Moreover, acclaimed computer analyst Benjamin Reitzes expects iPhone sales figures to reach "950,000 units through September, including 150,000 this month."
Maybe the $600 iPhone really isn’t so bad if you consider the long term savings of its calling plan. If you do the math, you could save up to $60 per year. After five years, that's about half the price of the iPhone itself. But then again, there’s probably going to be another hot and tempting new product out there after a year or two, or perhaps even sooner than that. Decisions decisions.