Smartphones seem to be vital part of our everyday life, but the costs of having these smartphones is getting out of hand. With most major carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint) , a smartphone, such as an iPhone 4s, can run about $80 or $90 with data per month. Of course there are many discounts offered by these carriers (Such as 15% or 20% off for working for any large company). But even with these discounts, these phone plans can be financially crippling.
I myself was paying $76 a month for my Galaxy S2 (Now Evo 3d) on Sprint with Unlimited Data, Unlimited Mobile to Mobile, and Free Nights and Weekends (after 7pm). For those who do not know, Sprint tends to be viewed as the cheaper carrier versus Verizon and AT&T. Recently I added my girlfriend to my plan with her iPhone 4s and was shocked to hear the cost per phone was still going to be roughly the same, and in fact a little more. I can’t believe they don’t offer any discount for that second phone on a plan. But what about a third phone?
This is where things get interesting. Adding a 3rd, 4th, and 5th phone is roughly $30 a month more per smartphone. That means you can get five iPhone 4 ‘s (or any other smartphone) for about $240 a month (after 15% discount off the base plan, excluding surcharges and taxes), that’s $48 per phone. This of course would also make you liable for a five smartphone contract, but at $48 per phone, this is a sweet deal. This is most likely the cheapest iPhone family plan out there.
But you don’t have to be a family to do it. In fact you don’t even have to share a relationship. Girlfriends, boyfriends, friends, or just acquaintances are all eligible to join your plan. But once again, remember the contract holder is liable for payment.
The best course of action would be to find people that will either:
- Prepaid the entire 2-years ($1,152 + $36 activation = $1,188 + any phone insurance premiums), or
- Prepay $350 for the early termination fee (ETF), so if they don’t pay they are dropped off the contract on their dime, or
- Go with someone you trust whole-heartedly (such as family)
Whatever you decide, be careful and get it in writing. Make sure everyone understands what the plan entails. If you do opt into this cheap family sprint plan, you can plan on saving about $22 – $40 a month against other major carriers, which is $528 – $960 per phone over the 2 year contract ($2640 – $4800 for all 5 phones). On the high end of that savings scale, that’s a cool five grand in 2 years. It can be a lot of hassle, but with numbers like this, it might be worth the hassle. For a complete breakdown of how the Sprint family plans are priced, take a look at the image below (click to enlarge).