iPhone 3G pricing: U.S. $199, Germany 1 euro, U.K. freeJune 16, 2008: 8:32 AM ET
All three carriers are subsidizing the phone, of course, planning to take back in monthly fees more than they give away at point of purchase. In T-Mobile's case, it turns out, a good deal more.
The chart below shows how much customers who buy the 8GB model end up paying at the end of a two-year contract for unlimited data in the U.S., U.K. and Germany. We've used the minimum tariff that yields the maximum subsidy in each country and converted everything into dollars. And we've chosen a two-year period in the U.K., although O2 offers an 18-month contract as well. (E-mail subscribes, click here.)
It should come as no surprise that these European carriers know what they are doing. T-Mobile's 1 euro iPhone may look cheap compared with AT&T's $199, but by the end of their contract, its customers have paid nearly 74% more.
O2's free iPhone, by comparison, is a relative bargain; after two years, it's only 12% more expensive than AT&T's.