When you add up the cost of smartphones over time, they don't look very appealing.
If you think your family’s smartphone addiction is bleeding you all dry, you don’t know the half of it.
Based on typical smartphone costs and usage patterns, your kids will end up spending a staggering $75,000 apiece on their phones over the course of their lives, according to valuation company Flipsy.
And even they’re only scratching the surface, because they missed out the biggest cost of all: The opportunity cost of all that money.
If you factor that in, the true lifetime cost of your kids’ love affair with their Apple iPhone is closer to $300,000.
That figure is based on the average amount spent per year in the U.S. on cellphones, and the average returns you’d make on that money if you invested it instead from age 18 to age 78 and upgraded every 32 months.
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Americans also spend approximately $88 a year on apps and unlimited data plans typically cost around $80 a month.
Put that money into an investment account, and factor in long-term returns of around 4% a year after inflation, and you reach that $300,000.
As with all calculations, there are plenty of assumptions about average users. But they help show the value of reducing these bills. Based on these calculations, someone who buys a cheap $150 Android phone every two years, and switches to a $20 a month plan, would add more than $200,000 to their retirement account.
There's more at the link.
I suppose there's always the utility aspect to consider: how much one can do with a smartphone, and how much easier it makes one's life in many ways. Nevertheless, that's a heck of a lot of money to invest in something like that. Is it worth the cost? For me, I'd have to say, no, it isn't - but then I don't use a smartphone as anything but a communication and occasional navigation device, with a few rare instances when I might use a browser to look up something. I don't bother with games, apps, etc. For others who use those more, perhaps it is worthwhile.
The cheaper option mentioned in the article is attractive, from that perspective. Miss D. and I make do with cheaper, lower-end Android smartphones, and use a relatively low-cost monthly plan. We have everything we need, and at a price we can afford.
What about you? Do you get enough use out of a smartphone to justify those sorts of numbers? Let us know in Comments. I think it might be interesting to see the spread of opinions.