5 Hidden Expenses of Owning a Smartphone

Olivia Clifford  |

With just over half of the American population owning smart phones it should come as no surprise that there are many hidden costs that come along with buying the most up to date technology. With the average smart phone costing around $600 for the device and around $375 with purchase of a cellular plan, the bare minimum is costly as is. As the technology improves and there are more added features and faster capabilities with each new generation the prices fluctuate accordingly. This is mainly derived from the fact that the hardware needed to improve and revolutionizes these phones is getting more and more expensive with time. 

On top of the already costly basic starting price, there are any hidden expenses that come along with owning a smart phone. Though all of the hidden expenses are not pivotal to the use of the smartphone, they are however some of the most publicized features. 

5 Hidden Smart Phone Expenses:

Memory: It was found that on average it will cost a consumer around $100 for every extra 16 gigabytes of memory purchased for a smartphone. Though most people don’t need to have cellular devices with the capability to hold thousands of songs or photos, it is one of the many features people gravitate to when deciding to switch to a smartphone.  

Data Plan: Most Americans don’t purchase a smart phone without intending to use it for its fast paced Internet connection and texting abilities. The data plan that many people choose can be one of the costliest portions of owning the phone. With most data plans costing between $15-$80 a month that’s can just be the beginning of the charges. It was found that on average it could cost an individual around $15 for every 200 megabytes of data overage charges. 

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Headphones: Many smartphone’s come with their own branded headphones upon purchase, but there still are the few that don’t. With all the new trends in headphones and the endless options of which to buy, it should come as n surprise that many people are spending almost as much money on their headphones as they are on their phones. Companies like Palm Centro sell their smart phones without headphones, but designed the phone to require only specialized headphones that can cost around $250. Factoring in how often people loose and misplace their headphones, and the time that they spend on their phones using headphones, even purchasing generic ones which cost between $10-$30 can become costly. 

Applications: One of the main reasons that Americans gravitate towards purchasing smart phones is their versatility and customization. Applications are one of the main ways in which people can maximize their smart phones to make their lives easier and faster to manage. With each application only costing around $0-$3 it may not seem like the financial impact is that extreme. The American Institute of CPA’s found that on average an American spends about $38 a month on their cellular phones applications. 

Protection: Once the phone is purchased you immediately run the risk of breaking it. There are many hidden fees that come with protecting a consumer’s cellular phone. The first line of defense in protecting the demise of a new cellular phone is a case, which on average cost between $30-$80. The second being paying for repairs and insurance to make sure that the phone stays in good condition. More often then not paying to have your phone repaired can cost close to the amount that you paid for the phone in the first place. This is similar to the costs of having insurance. With the average insurance plan costing around $9 a month, it isn’t uncommon that an individual may be paying around $196 over their 2-year plan on top of a $199 deductible. This means that people can be paying almost $400 in insurance for a cellular phone, which is around $600 to replace. 

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