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.
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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.
Jason Hiner has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Jason Hiner is Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.