Report: iPhone users have the biggest phone bills

Report: iPhone users have the biggest phone bills

Cupertino : CA : USA | Jan 30, 2013 at 2:38 PM PST
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It's not your imagination, iPhone users, you really do pay more on your monthly wireless bills than everyone else. That's the now-verified and proven conclusion of a new report from a consumer research firm that tallied the average monthly bills of those using the major smartphone handset types.

When comparing iPhone (iOS), Android, Blackberry, and Windows phone handsets, a study by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) found that 60 percent of iPhone users pay more than $100 on their monthly bill—the highest percentage of all the major smartphone brands.

The study was shared with the blog AllThingsD showing that iPhone users have the highest monthly bills. Windows phone users have the second most expensive monthly tabs, followed by Android, then Blackberry. The study found that 10 percent of iPhone users pay more than two hundred dollars a month for their wireless service.

I am just astonished that some people out there pay more than $200 a month for their cell phone service. I am even more astonished that the study found that 6 percent of iPhone users somehow manage to pay less than $50 monthly.

The full graphic showing monthly costs by smartphone brand breaks down the details of each handset type and how much people pay for one month's service.

The working theory of CIRP co-founder Michael Levin is that it's not the iPhone itself that's behind those bigger monthly bills, but the pricy data plans offered by common iPhone service carriers AT&T and Verizon. Android users are more likely to "fragment" their coverage with short-term or unsubsidized plans.

Mr. Levin argues that this does not necessarily mean that AT&T and Verizon are making more money than their more Android-friendly competitors.

"Given the subsidies on iPhones, the carriers are working hard to make their money back during the course of the contract,” CIRP’s Josh Levitz told AllThingsD.

"Subsidies" are the discount that some carriers offer to lock you into a contract in exchange for not paying the full $600 for a new iPhone.

“With the exception of perhaps the hottest Android phones, we think the subsidies on Android phones are lower, so the carriers make more money even with slightly lower per-subscriber revenue," Mr. Levin said.

It also stands to reason that iPhone users pay less attention to their data limits, and have their monthly bills skewed upwards by those Breaking Bad marathons they watch on their iPad. After all, if you did pay the full $600 for an iPhone, you're probably less likely to nitpick on whether you're over your data rate.

Joe Kukura is based in San Francisco, California, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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