I have been doing Mobile Technology Needs Analysis for clients and friends for a few years. It used to be very cut and dry. you worked through a few questions and you are done…T-Mobile changed that for me in October. Thanks…
The questions used to be (which works for everyone but T-Mobile):
- Who is the dominant carrier in the area? (this can affect your shared/mobile to mobile minutes)
- Who else has good coverage in the area?
- Are the other carriers offering more compelling deals on hardware/plans?
- What phone on chosen carrier that you can afford fits your usage pattern/needs best?
- What other services are needed?
If you are not familiar with T-mobile, they have went to a double-tiered plan structure:
- Even More is your typical cell phone plan with 24 moth contract. You get a subsidy (discount that’s not really a discount) in exchange for signing up for a contract.
- Even More Plus is a twist. There is not a contract. You also pay cheaper service rates in exchange for paying full price for the hardware. This plan is patterned after how cell plans are none in Europe.
Both plans have option to split the hardware cost over several (up to 20, last time I read) payments.
At first glance, the Everything More Plus looks like a great deal financially…Lets do a test case:
Blackberry Bold 9700:
The Bold 9700 is the top dog in the Blackberry kennel. It happens to be one of the more expensive handsets, and carries pretty hefty required services with it.
As of 3/8/2010 the Prices for the Bold on a New contract are as follows: 379 full retail, 129 subsidy
Lets assume a middle of the road 1000 minute single line plan, and required services.
$89 x 24 months= $2136 + 129 for Hardware= 2265
Everything More Plus:
$69 x 24 Months=$1656 + $379 for Hardware =2035
With Everything More Plus, you save 220 over 24 months, which is just under $10 month savings.
The next question is what about Ebay? With Everything More Plus, you can bring your own phone you buy wherever you want (like Ebay…).
The average to low price on 3/8 for a Bold was $350 which increases the savings by $29 to $259 over 24 months or about $11 per month savings (keep in mind that this situation reverts you to the factory warranty from RIM, with no T-Mobile support…).
It doesn’t take a professional to figure this out. You have to look at all the dollars for all the time. Use a tool like billshrink. com.
Is it worth doing it differently to save about $10 month (other hardware can vary by as much as $5/month)?