Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/01/31/iphone_bills/

Official: Fandroids are smarter/tighter* than iPhone fanbois

* Delete as appropriate depending on mobile OS allegiance

By Bill Ray

Posted in Mobile, 31st January 2013 14:42 GMT

Startling figures show that iPhone owners pay bigger phone bills - but the stats are silent as to whether that's because they make a lot of calls or are just too stupid to notice.

Almost 60 per cent of iPhone users pay more than $100 a month, according to a survey in the US by Consumer Intelligence Research. Meanwhile, a shade over half of polled Android users spent less. A hundred bucks seems a lot of money to be spending on telephony even if it’s better considered a loan repayment on cheap or free handset hardware.

The numbers were shared with AllThingsD, which points out that iPhones attract a bigger subsidy from the operators and that subsidy has to be recovered over the course of the contract - inevitably leading to bigger bills. But the numbers also reflect the demographic which owns an iPhone, a demographic which makes more calls and uses more data without worrying about the cost.

When the UK mobile network O2 launched the Xda - arguably the first smartphone - a decade ago your correspondent was upbraided by senior executive for suggesting O2 was getting into the computer market: "The reason we sell the Xda is because the kind of person who buys one is the kind of person who makes a lot of phone calls" is a sentiment that remains true to this day.

The new figures were collected in America, where mobile data is a good deal more expensive than in Europe. Taking an iPhone 5, for example, unlimited talk and text with 1GB of monthly data will cost a UK customer £41 ($64) a month on EE but the same deal on AT&T will cost £53 ($85) as well as a bigger upfront cost: £125 ($197) on AT&T compared to EE's £100 ($157), and AT&T will hit one with a £21 ($33) connection charge too.

That's for shared data usage on up to 10 devices. AT&T would prefer to sell a more-reasonable 5GB of data a month for individual gadget use, but that immediately pushes one over $100 with a monthly tariff of £75.19 ($119).

So any American aspiring to own the latest hardware will, realistically, be paying more than $100 a month to have it, and iPhone owners are nothing if not aspiring. Android owners pay a little less, on average, but 99 per cent of them are still shelling out more than $25 a month and 54 per cent fall into the greater-than-$100-a-month category. The enduring popularity of have-now-pay-later isn't limited to Apple fans, it's just slightly more prevalent among them. ®