iPhone 7 Buyers Could Overspend By As Much As $1,074 by WalletHub

With the new iPhone 7 set to launch on Friday amid rumors of sold-out pre-orders and intrigue regarding Apple’s decision not to disclose launch weekend sales, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released the results of its iPhone Savings Report to help consumers make sense of all the different pricing options and find the best deal.

iPhone 7 Apple AAPL
Image source: Apple

More specifically, WalletHub used its Cell Phone Savings Calculator to compare the various ways that people can purchase the iPhone, evaluate the wide range of associated coverage plans and determine when someone is better off simply keeping their current phone.

  • Individuals who want the new iPhone can save up to $1,074 by opting for a no-contract plan from RingPlus Mobile over the same types of plans from T-Mobile and Verizon.
  • Individuals can save up to $1,324 by keeping their old phone and getting coverage from the Walmart Family Mobile.
  • Families can save up to $1,705 for four lines with 12GB of data by choosing a no-contract plan from RingPlus Mobile over an Apple instalment plan from AT&T ($4,694).
  • Families can save up to $2,294 by keeping their old phones and getting coverage from RingPlus Mobile.

WalletHub’s Cell Phone Savings calculator allows users to input their upfront and monthly costs in order to directly compare the true cost of two-year contracts, installment plans and no contract plans from all of the major carriers. You can check out the calculator – along with WalletHub’s embeddable infographic comparing plans offered by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and more.

How Much Will An iPhone 7 Cost You?

iPhone 7 Buyers Could Overspend

Infographic Assumptions

Costs quoted in the above infographic reflect the Net Present Value (NPV) of a 32GB iPhone 7 under the following types of plans:

Individual Plans (3 GB data)

2 YEAR CONTRACTNO CONTRACT
(BUY PHONE UP-FRONT)
INSTALLMENT PLAN
(CARRIER)
INSTALLMENT PLAN
(APPLE)
AT&TN/AAT&T Mobile Share Advantage Plan — 3 GBAT&T Mobile Share Advantage Plan — 3 GBAT&T Mobile Share Advantage Plan — 3 GB
SprintSprint 3 GB Better Choice SSprint 3 GB Better Choice SSprint 3 GB Better Choice SSprint 3 GB Better Choice S
T-MobileN/AT-Mobile ONE PlanT-Mobile ONE PlanN/A
VerizonN/AThe new Verizon Plan — 4 GBThe new Verizon Plan — 4 GBThe new Verizon Plan — 4 GB
Walmart Family MobileN/AFamily Mobile Plan — 5 GBN/AN/A
RingPlus MobileN/ARingPlus Mad Man Plan — 3 GBN/AN/A

 

Family Plans (4 lines and 12 GB data)

2 YEAR CONTRACTNO CONTRACT
(BUY PHONE UP-FRONT)
INSTALLMENT PLAN
(CARRIER)
INSTALLMENT PLAN
(APPLE)
AT&TN/AAT&T Mobile Share Advantage Plan — 16 GBAT&T Mobile Share Advantage Plan — 16 GBAT&T Mobile Share Advantage Plan — 16 GB
SprintSprint 12 GB Better Choice LSprint 12 GB Better Choice LSprint 12 GB Better Choice LSprint 12 GB Better Choice L
T-MobileN/AT-Mobile ONE PlanT-Mobile ONE PlanN/A
VerizonN/AThe new Verizon Plan — 8 GB + 2 GB/lineThe new Verizon Plan — 8 GB + 2 GB/lineThe new Verizon Plan — 8 GB + 2 GB/line
RingPlus MobileN/ARingPlus Mad BBQ + 1 Plan — 5 GB/lineN/AN/A
MetroPCSN/AMetroPCS Plan — 5 GB/lineN/AN/A

 

Data is accurate as of 9/9/2016.

Notes:

  1. T-Mobile’s ONE plan provides all members with Unlimited 4G LTE data. Customers who use more data than 97% of T-Mobile’s customers (currently over 26GB per month) will have their usage prioritized below other traffic and may notice slower speeds. Customers required to set-up autopay.
  2. Verizon’s Size L plan provides 2GB of bonus data per month for each new smartphone. This bonus data does not carry over from month to month.
  3. Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program, the Apple Installment Plan, allows users to pay for their phone in monthly installments made directly to Apple and gives users ongoing AppleCare as well as the ability exchange their devices for the latest model every 12 months (or every 6 months with advance payment). Since this program is not affiliated with any particular carrier, it allows users to avoid signing up for multiyear service contracts and to select which carrier or plan they find most advantageous at any given time. We therefore combined the cost of Apple’s monthly installment plan with that of the most advantageous data plans available from individual carriers in order to provide a more-detailed comparison. One thing to note is that AppleCare is mandatory with the Apple Installment Plan, while carriers offer it as an extra option when phones are purchased through them.
  4. For family plans we assumed only one device would be purchased while the other 3 would be already owned and could be included in the data plan with no compatibility issues, these lines are new connections with the carrier, thus paying activation fees.
  5. All plan data was collected for online pre-orders. All plans provide individuals with the opportunity to own their phones outright after 24 months. Costs for installment plans assume excellent credit.
  6. Lease plans from T-Mobile (Jump! On Demand) and Sprint (iPhone Forever) were not included in our study, as they require users to have purchased their previous phone through the program.