While Billshrink’s chart on the next page only compares costs for the three perennial rivals in the USA, the numbers — particularly the large, foreboding 4-digit numbers at the bottom — shed some light on an oppressive situation: total expenditures for the current crop of much-hyped smart-phones. Smart-phones aren’t cheap, and their contracts cost more than a yearly bus-pass, a decent road bike, and most people’s computers.
Smart-phones have come down in price in the last decade, but they still represent a significant investment for most people. And, if you are a person who doesn’t use your phone for much more than calling gran, choosing another platform is an economical decision.
While the Pre hast bequeathed much of its launch time hype to newer contenders including the iPhone and Droid, its total cost of ownership is also much lower. Also, when considering unlimited 2-year plans, it is more than 1000$ cheaper than its colleagues. Of course, it isn’t as good a multimedia device as the iPhone, particularly if you want to enjoy the pristine audio reproduction of nice headphones, so part of the savings must be put toward a passable digital audio player.
The Droid will debut 6 November in the USA to excited crowds and an exciting digital marketplace bolstered by Google’s vast resources and an excited developer community. While there is little hope it will be a good pal to high-end earphones, its hi-res screen and proper keyboard should strike a note with geeks.