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Why An Iphone With Straight Talk Is Good For Your Budget

Updated on May 4, 2013
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Recently I set out to figure out the least expensive way to own an Apple IPhone. I’ve owned an inexpensive smartphone before. What did I discover? The inconvenience of dealing with a low quality phone wasn’t worth the savings. On my old smartphone the touch screen wasn't sensitive enough. The battery ran out quickly. There were other problems as well.

In light of my experience, I recently decided I needed a high quality smartphone. Though there are many good options out there, I decided to go with an IPhone. Why an IPhone? I simply know lots of people who own IPhones and they seem to be very happy with them. My next step was to research least expensive way to obtain an IPhone. However, low-cost wasn't my only goal. I also wanted good cell coverage.

In the area I live, Verizon and AT&T have the best coverage so I looked into the possibility of getting an IPhone through one of those two service providers.

The Cost of a Two Year Contract

However, I quickly discovered the cost would be pretty high. With both Verizon and AT&T I could get an IPhone 4 for essentially FREE with a two-year plan. Yet that two year plan was going to cost me at least $90 a month.

When I visited the AT&T Wireless Website, here’s what I discovered--with a two year contract I could obtain an 8GB IPhone 4 for 99 cents. At first, I though "Wow! That's great!" Then I went through the process of selecting a plan. All said and done here is the breakdown of the monthly charges I would be obligated to pay:

  • Nation 450 PLAN w/Rollover Minutes = $39.99 / mo
  • DataPro 3GB = $30/mo
  • Messaging Unlimited: $20/mo

So you can see, for me a best case scenario with AT&T, is that I spend $89.99 per month to own an IPhone and have service for two years. This assumes 450 minutes per month is enough talk time. This also assumes I don’t want to pay an additional monthly fee to insure the phone against loss, theft, damage etc...

Here's the bottom line: Over the course of two years I would pay roughly $2160, with AT&T. What would I get in return? An IPhone with a service plan that is barely sufficient for my needs. I doubt 450 minutes would be enough.

When I looked into Verizon, the cost breakdown was similar.

The Cost of Straight Talk Pre-Paid Plan Plus An IPhone 4

So I just thought is there a better, less expensive way than signing a two year contract with AT&T or Verizon? As I did research, I came across the Straight Talk Prepaid Plan.

For $45 I would get unlimited talk, text and data. I discovered in my area, Straight Talk uses the Verizon network. So for $45 I would be able to use an IPhone on the Verizon Network without the commitment of a two year contract...at roughly half the monthly cost of a Verizon contract! The catch? I would have to pay full price for an IPhone. Walmart sells an 8GB IPhone 4 for $450.

Now I know that seems like a lot, but its really not if you consider how much you save, over two years, by going with Straight Talk and paying full price for the IPhone. Let’s do some basic math.

(24 mos * $45/mo) + $450 (cost of Iphone) = $1530

That means that at a minimum, I save $630 over two years compared with the AT&T plan which costs about $2160 over the same period of time. Just think of all you can buy with $630! It also means my “monthly plan” cost over 24 months, taking into consideration the full cost of the Iphone, is $63.75 per month. Now where can you get unlimited talk, texts and data for $63.75/month with the IPhone included? I haven’t seen that deal anywhere.

How to Get Started

Go to your local Walmart. They will be able to sell you a phone already setup for the Straight Talk Network. You can also pay $45 for the first month of service. They'll set the phone up for you right there in the store. Though you've invested $495 up front, in the long run you've saved yourself at least $630.

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