Do you know how much your smartphone costs you, I mean actually costs you? Until yesterday I didn’t. Until yesterday I didn’t much think about the price of that slab of plastic in my pocket.
In the past year I spent €802.14 ($1028.50) maintaining my phone. That’s €442.14 ($566.91) more than I thought I was spending, and every single cent came from my decision to buy into the smartphone lifestyle.
Before I looked at the numbers I believed that I was quite the frugal smartphone owner. I’m on a good rate with my carrier that gives me 2GB of data, 100 minutes, and 100 SMS for €30 ($38.47) a month. Other operators in this market charge €55 ($70.52) per month for similar deals.
By simple calculation, if I used my phone within the strict confines of the contract I’d be spending €360 ($461.59) a year running my phone – not a bad deal for a device that gives me constant Internet and quick access to friends and family. But in the past 12 months I’ve never just spent €30 a month – my average bill has been $37.50 each month.
My habit of sending one too many SMS and talking for longer than I should (occupational risk) means that in the past 12 months I spent €449.49 ($576.34) on carrier charges – that’s €80.49 ($103.20) more than I thought.
Your carrier’s bill isn’t the only expense that comes with owning a smartphone, what about charging it? According to Lifehacker it costs between €0.32 for an iPhone, and €0.41 for a Galaxy SIII ($0.41 and $0.53) to fully charge a smartphone. Since I tend to charge my phone at night and I own an SIII that means that just using my device cost me €149.65 ($191.88) in the past year.
But that’s not just it. Apart from the cost of using the phone there’s also the wider smartphone lifestyle that adds to the expense. One off costs like that car charger and phone covers (€15/$19) and Bluetooth keyboards, €25/$32.05 (an occupational requirement) contribute to the cost: not much, but it all adds up.
As the smartphone market has matured so too have the type and number of peripherals available. External speakers like hands-free kits or, in my case, Jawbone Jambox are common expenses. My Jambox set me back €163 ($209), and that’s without the added expense of charging the device.
And these aren’t the only expenses; you can add smartphone insurance, damage repairs, new earphones (‘cos the ones that come with your phone are never any good) or any other kind of expenses, add ons, or extras that the market can devise.
So, when you’re using your smartphone consider this, it’s costing you more than you think. The question is, do you know how much?