Why I Can’t Afford an Apple iPhone

The Apple iPhone is one of the leading smart phones in the mobile phone market today. It seems like everybody owns one.

I can’t get by a day without reading about the latest iPhone applications or read how some blogger is using their iPhone.

Each time I see the word iPhone, I go to YouTube and start looking at iPhone reviews. Just wishing, just longing for one.

And then I will go to the Maxis website to look at their iPhone plans, and continue wishing, continue longing…

The Figures

I looked at several options.

  1. First of all, I had to decide which model of iPhone I wanted. It came down to two choices, the iPhone 3GS 16GB or the iPhone 3GS 32GB.
  2. Next, I had to choose from one of the Maxis rate plans. The best choices for me were:
    – A supplementary phone line with iData 1 plan (250MB usage per month)
    – A supplementary phone line with iData 2 plan(500MB usage per month). The iPhone is slightly cheaper if you lock for 2 years.
    – A Hotlink prepaid account that comes with 500MB free data per month for 12 months.
  3. I estimated that the phone would last for 3 years (before I was compelled to upgrade) so I calculated the cost over 3 years.
  4. I put the numbers in a spreadsheet, which looks like this:
iPhone Comparison Chart for Maxis Plans
iPhone Comparison Chart for Maxis Plans

To summarize (in case you are not a numbers type of person):

  1. The difference between an iPhone 3GS 16GB and 32GB is RM500.
  2. You have to pay an extra RM100 to reduce lock-in period from 2 years to 1 year.
  3. Over 3 years, you pay RM220 extra to get 500MB bandwidth per month, which is a fair deal.
  4. The iValue plans cost the most, but would not suit me since I won’t be making calls

Why Do I Want One?

Looking at the thousands that I have to spend, the next question I asked myself was, why do I really want one?

My answers were:

  1. App Store applications look really interesting (especially the games!)
  2. I can use it while I’m waiting, or when I’m travelling
  3. GPS
  4. Camera
  5. It’s got cool factor

The Next Best Thing

The next natural step for me, was to take a look at the iPod Touch. The iPod Touch can also run App Store applications like the iPhone.

The obvious benefit for me was I didn’t have to sign up for any new phone lines or data plans. I could happily remain as a Yellow Fellow.

With a price difference of RM3550 (the 3 year cost of owning an iPhone 3GS 32GB versus an iPod Touch 32GB), what extra value does the iPhone provide?

  1. It has phone, texting and MMS functions
  2. GPS
  3. Compass
  4. Camera
  5. Free OS Updates
  6. Slightly faster performance

BUT, the features I really wanted were:

  1. App Store applications (the iPod Touch can do this)
  2. Mobility (ditto)
  3. GPS (I already have a semi-useful GPS)
  4. Camera (I already have several digital cameras)

The Killer Question

It is already quite obvious by now, that I don’t really need an Apple iPhone. The iPod Touch will meet my requirements quite nicely.

Which leads me to one last question.

Will I have time to use it?

Taking a serious look at my current life style, I really don’t have time to spend on another device.

The last thing I need is another gadget to divide my time and attention.

Final Decision

And so it is with a sad and heavy heart that I have to pass on the Apple iPhone and the Apple iPod Touch.

At the most, I could get the cheapest iPod Touch 8GB just for fun. But probably not.

With the facts staring at me, it’s hard to justify spending the money.

Perhaps things will change in the future. I will see if I can justify spending on an Apple Tablet.

One last thing. I hope no one will misunderstand me. I don’t mean that the iPhone or iPod Touch are not good devices to buy. I want one sooo much!

It’s just that in MY situation, at this point of time, I can’t afford one.

11 thoughts on “Why I Can’t Afford an Apple iPhone”

  1. i guess i will never be able to covet an Apple iPhone. u have rejuvenated the blog. i hardly recognize it.

    Adino: Just adjust the layout a little bit


  2. Hey Adino, commenting a bit off-topic here, but I really have to say that I like the way you wrote this post. Reminds me of the good PF bloggers I follow – JD Roth and Trent Hamm. 😀

    Adino: Hehe… thanks. I have no idea who those bloggers are, but I’ll go check out their blogs!

  3. You have done a detailed analysis. I respect you. Hope my husband is like you. Will be sleepless then. ha Ha

    Adino: I think not detailed enough… I didn’t factor in the loss of income, if I saved the money in the bank. Plus, I also didn’t compare other options like Nokia, Sony, LG, Samsung, etc…


  4. Oh brother, I understand. You’re being responsible and that is so admirable.

    If I were to offer you a solution will you consider? It will cost much lesser on your part. Find me online and we can always discuss this 🙂

    Sorry I hope I’m not tempting you

    Adino: I’m intrigued and tempted 🙂

    I can only MSN and FB from home… maybe you can send me a direct (and private) twitter?

  5. I understand your feelings.

    I bought the 1st Gen iPhone 2G 16G for only RM1000 from a friend in Feb 09. It’s like RM1800 in the lelong market then.
    So I got a good deal.

    If it wasnt for the deal, i wont have bought it.

    I wont buy a phone that cost more than RM1k.

    For me, RM1500 – you can get a 32′ LCD TV – which everyone can enjoy.
    RM2000 – you can buy a PC or a HiFi Component system.
    RM2500 – you can get a good holiday package for the family.

    So why spend RM3K for an iPhone? It’s overpriced by Maxis.

    It beats me how a lowly clark / administrator can afford to buy the iphone 3GS? But i suppose they dont have a kid to raise and a future to plan.

    My advise is, get a used iPhone 3G from Lelong around RM1K and stick with DiGi. Maxis charges are too high.

    Btw, ipod touch is good option, but why carry 2 devises?
    One is enough..

    And, dont even bother to buy HTC, SE, or Nokia. there are now dinosaurs.

    Adino: Good suggestion on looking at second hand market / online auctions

  6. Good post…I want one too, but maybe when my current PDA phone dies. By the way my iMac is already showing signs of trouble a little over a year after purchase. Thank God for Apple Protection Plan!

    Adino: iMac showing trouble!? Have you reported the issues and did they fix it for you?

    I didn’t get the Apple Protection plan 🙁

    But my iMac is still going strong.

  7. Sent it back to Apple via the premium reseller. Collecting it tomorrow. Maybe just showing signs of overuse 😉

    Adino: Just wondering if they would replace you a new one or not


  8. Im on the same boat. Everyone has an iPhone or Droid now days, but the problem is the phone bill! My $60 plan includes 450 minutes and unlimited texts. But after taxes I have to pay 86 a month.
    If I got the iPhone I have to add a data plan to that! I cant afford those monthly payments. Its not worth going to work an extra day each week.
    I think these phone companies should lower their rates… But we all know that wont happen.

    Adino: The alternative is to get an unlocked phone and surf on Wifi only, but of course that would mean the phone costs a lot!

  9. don’t feel bad, I’m on disability and food stamps. I have to pay electric, Internet, crappy Net 10 cell phone and rent. I have food to buy plus I have to pay for washing my clothes. I have to buy hygiene products to. all that takes huge chunks out of my money and it’s hard to save money plus I eat a lot. I can’t afford an IPhone or the Samsung Galaxy s7 edge phone. I see everyone with IPhones but I know I could never afford one. I don’t have a job. I get a government check every month that barely covers my expenses. I want a IPhone so bad but unless I win the lottery or come into a lot of money, that dream is out of reach. I have to stick with a crappy Net 10 phone that sucks because that’s all I can afford. I’m going to try and save money but It will be very difficult.

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