iPhone Owners Pay More Than Any Other Smartphone Users
January 31, 2013

iPhone Users Dish Out More Each Month Than Their Android Counterparts

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online

It´s not as if anyone needed the reminder, but yesterday All Things D reported that iPhone users pay the most on their monthly bills. This becomes even less surprising when the fact that all Apple users often pay more for the right to use their fruit-branded gear.

The iPhone, always known to be nothing less than a luxury device, demands a higher subsidy from cellular carriers. But according to the latest data, it also brings in the big bucks for these same carriers. This is likely a fact that Sprint CEO Dan Hesse understands all too well. After all, he took a $3.25 million pay cut last year so that Sprint would be able to offer the iPhone to its subscribers — and he has continued to defend this move.

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) provided All Things D with this monthly bill data which indicated that the majority of iPhoners pay more than $100 a month on their cell bill. According to data collected between October and December of 2012, some 10 percent of these iPhone users spent at least $200 a month, while a meager 6 percent paid less than $50. These numbers were, perhaps unsurprisingly, significantly different for users of other smart devices like Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phones.

For instance, Android users — a set of customers often chided by the development community for being too cheap to actually pay for an app — are also tight fisted when it comes to their monthly bill. According to CIRP data, the number of Android users who pay in the $25-$50 range for their mobile services each month is more than double the number of iPhone users who fall in this range.

Yet while there are more cheap users using Android devices, the majority of Android users also pay more than $100 a month on their cell bills. The same can be said of Windows Phone users. CIRP found that few of these customers pay less than $51 a month on their bill, and the majority of them lay down a Benjamin or more every month.

In fact, the only platform where the majority of users do not pay $100 or more a month is BlackBerry, where around 60 percent of users have monthly bills that come in under $100.

Though iPhoners pay the most, they´re in good company, as 56 percent of all smartphone users paid more than $100 a month between October and December of 2012.

This data led All Things D to ask CIRP why iPhone fans are paying more than any other smartphone user. While some could make the argument that iPhone users surf the web more often and buy more apps, CIRP co-founder Michael Levin blamed the carriers, saying the amount of Android options is equal to the amount of plan options.

“We think it has to do with their data plans and carriers, rather than their usage habits,” said Levin. “They are all on expensive data plans, unlike Android users, some of which are on prepaid or unsubsidized plans with regional carriers.”

And because the subsidies are so high on the iPhone, CIRP´s Josh Levitz says iPhone users essentially pay back the carriers over the span of their contracts.

“With the exception of perhaps the hottest Android phones, we think the subsidies on Android phones are lower, so the carriers make more money even with slightly lower per-subscriber revenue.”

One thing carriers can count on, it seems, is customers sticking with their platforms. CIRP also looked at how well these platforms retain their customers and found that Android and iOS are the “stickiest” around, with 88 percent of new iOS users remaining on the platform and 64 sticking to their Androids.