Like cars and houses, the purchase price of a smartphone is just the beginning of what it will cost you. The total cost of ownership includes using it--with a house it’s upkeep, a car it’s maintenance and fuel, and with a smartphone it’s the cost of your monthly service. Billshrink.com has calculated an initial estimate of the cost of using Google’s shiny new Nexus One, and, comparatively speaking, it fares well against the competition.
There are a number of variables in play when calculating total cost, but the basics are simple: assume a two year contract with a service provider, figure out the cost of an average and unlimited usage plan (on 3G networks), and add in the cost of the discounted phone. For a two year period a Nexus One will cost you between $2,339 and $2,579. (Or $97.46 to $107.46 per month.)
That makes the Nexus One the second cheapest among the iPhone, Palm Pre, and Motorola Droid. The Pre comes in with the lowest cost, but not by much: $2,309 to $2,549 for 24 months. The iPhone and Droid tied for most expensive: $2,839 to $3,799 for 24 months. And an agreement-free Nexus One will also cost you lest coin, $529, with the Pre costing $550, the iPhone and Droid $599.
Spec-wise you may be getting a tad less with the Nexus One. It comes with 4 GB of storage, while the others come with 8 GB or more. (But, the Nexus One is expandable to 32 GB, same as the Droid. The iPhone and Pre are fixed.) There aren’t as many apps for the Nexus One as the iPhone (nor are there as many stars in the night sky as there are apps for the iPhone). And, as one snarky commenter notes: the Nexus One is on T-Mobile, so good luck with that.
The Nexus One is available unlocked , which allows you to pick the carrier you want. And a CDMA version, for Verizon, is expected out this spring. So pricing dynamics may change once all the dust has settled.
Image Credit: Billshrink.com