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Cost comparison chart: iPhone 3G S vs. Palm Pre vs. Google Android G1

There's never been as many solid choices in smartphone market than there are right now. Here's a chart that compares the features and total costs of three of these smartphones: iPhone 3G S, Palm Pre, and Google Android G1.

Many original iPhone adopters have their contracts ending this summer and many others are simply looking to take the plunge on a new smartphone. There's never been as many solid choices in smartphone market than there are right now with the new Palm Pre and iPhone 3G S, plus the Google Android G1, the Nokia N97, the BlackBerry Bold, and the BlackBerry Curve 8900.

BillShrink.com, which runs a Web site dedicated to helping consumers save money on their every day bills, has put together an excellent chart (see below) comparing the features and total cost of the iPhone 3G S, Palm Pre, and Google Android G1.

This comparison is based on unlimited data, unlimited voice, and unlimited text messaging. The iPhone comes in as the most costly device at $3800 over two years. The Palm Pre was the cheapest at $2600, with the G1 falling in the middle at $3150.

It should be noted that the Palm Pre really shines because of Sprint's All-Everything plan, as ZDNet's Sam Diaz recently noted. If you don't need unlimited voice or texting, but just unlimited data, the wireless costs of the three phones (and the different carriers) are actually pretty close in cost, as you can see in this comaprison of the iPhone and Palm Pre by Barron's.

For more insights on Palm Pre, iPhone, and other tech topics, follow my Twitter stream at twitter.com/jasonhiner

IT departments that buy any of these phones in bulk will get better pricing on both hardware and group plans, but this chart is still useful for individuals and small businesses that purchase smartphones at retail.

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

15 comments
ctech1
ctech1

You can get a lower service plan for the G1. It only has to be a $39 a month plan. I am not sure about the other two.

lcdata
lcdata

don't know where you got the service plans but, even in Canada, the iPhone plan is much cheaper.

patrick_mullen
patrick_mullen

Jason, I really want to thank you for a very good article. The chart was excellent. A note about my experiences with NEXTEL customer service reps: A few years ago, my wife bought me a NEXTEL phone and contract for a birthday present. I had been using Verizon for some time and I grew increasingly dissatisfied with its cost and the loss of functionality when we crossed the International border into Baja California. She bought two NEXTEL phones and Family plan in the U.S.A. To make a long story short, I have never been so rudely treated by a group of ignoramouses since I was carjacked, beaten, and left on the street for dead one night in front of my home in Rosarito. For two years we were stuck with a plan that did not work in the manner we had contracted. We talked and argued for months with the collection of various idiots rhat NEXTEL was actually paying salaries who seemed to be using the majority of their time standing around with their hands in their pockets and/or having seemingly fascinating conversations with each other. These people were incredibly incompetent, boorish, and had no idea about the product and service they were pedalling. Finally, I found a NEXTEL independent vendor who straightened our contract and service out, but it took two years to do this because we had to let our contract expire before the vendor could change anything. A couple of weeks ago the keyboard on my phone decided to take a siesta. I took it back to the States and the people at SPRINT/NEXTEL replaced the phone. It seemed to work OK. Today when I used it, I noticed that the keyboard illumination was not working properly. I will have to take it back once again, wait in line, and explain to these morons that they gave me a broken phone. I am of the opinion that SPRINT/NEXTEL U.S.A. must be giving classes to its employees on how to seriously tick off their customers. I am looking for another carrier, and am considering getting a plan with NEXTEL Mexico, and just find a carrier in the States that will provide a basic voice dial-up/texting plan while I travel in the States. I am spending too much money and time to mess around with this trainwreck any longer.

Geoff
Geoff

The iphone has multitasking. How else would you be able to still download web pages while you take a phone call - there are many examples. It just does not have a call in the public SDK to access it. This IS a big disadvantage with the iphone, but to say it does not multitask is wrong.

roebling
roebling

The Palm Pre should never have been compared to either the gsm phones of ATT and TMobile or to other cdma suppliers like Verizon and Alltel. The Palm Pre's service partner, Sprint, offers travelers spotty coverage along interstate highways but perhaps 90% of the country is unserved by Sprint's pcs bands. Also, the higher frequencies on which the pcs services rely do not penetrate walls as well as the 800 and 900 mhz bands that other carriers may use. So, even in urban areas, Sprint's service often doesn't work well indoors.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

I really tried to like the Storm, but the click screen is horrible and the interface is clunky. I hear they've fix a lot of the problem in the latest firmware release, but I'll wait until the Storm II to even think about it again.

dbmarder
dbmarder

Why wasn't VerizonWireless' BlackBerry Storm included in this comparison?

ctech1
ctech1

Multitasking is a nightmare when you go to use your phone and its dead because there was a background process running! Anyone that has one of these phones knows this. My stepson learned the hard way with his blackberry. I am a G1 owner and had a process running which sucked down most my battery within a 2 hour period. 3G service is a power hog!

SKDTech
SKDTech

this year at some point. I am looking forward to a release on AT&T myself which is supposed to be releasing its Android phone sometime in August last I read.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

they would really be kicking butt.

possmann
possmann

Same situation - the Storm is OK - but it ain't no iPhone. Well I can wait for one more year - this time next summer should be an interesting time for the iPhone. I am however very cautious of Verizon taking on the iPhone - they will cripple that device beyond belief as they have with so many other cutting edge smart phones - Why can't they just leave it alone?

johnmckay
johnmckay

I used an iphone for a day, fully charged, and it was flat within 8 hours. And not many calls during that time. Maybe there have been major savings in power but 300 in standby... there's no way I could trust that figure I'm afraid. I'd need convincing on that so feel free to comment. It's a tough call if you need to make it. It would be interesting to compare against lesser gadgets to see what the extra functionality costs, and hence whether it's worth having. I'm a business Blackberry user and have no need for the multimedia features, and love a keyboard, but pay nothing for the service.... thus it would be futile and pointless for me to offer a value. I'm not a big fan of palms due to previous encounters (and they were free too)and no amount of savings will change that. Palm may well have a hard job staying in this game and should learn not to pi$$ your customers off.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

I can't wait for Verizon to pick it up!