Apple 2.0

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Google phone vs. Apple iPhone

January 6, 2010: 5:25 AM ET

At the end of two years, the Nexus One will have cost you $500 less than the iPhone

Click twice to see full size. Source: BillShrink

On the heels of Google's (GOOG) release of the HTC Nexus One -- popularly known as the Google phone -- the folks at BillShrink have done us all a favor.

They've put out one of their handy charts comparing the specs and total cost of ownership of four popular smartphones:

  • Apple's (AAPL) iPhone on AT&T (T)
  • Palm's (PALM) Pre on Sprint (S)
  • Motorola's (MOT) Droid on Verizon (VZ)
  • HTC's Nexus One on T-Mobile (DT).

The chart isn't perfect. It tends to emphasize specs and cost over quality of service or availability of apps.

And there appear to be small errors in its numbers. The iPhone, for example, has more than 100,000, 127,600 or 128,900 available apps, depending whose count you use, not 93,200 as the chart has it.

But the folks at BillShrink are pretty responsive, and if you point out any mistakes, they'll probably fix them.

Bottom line: if you the ignore the "unlimited" plans (and everybody we know does), the total costs of ownership after two years are not that different.

iPhone $2,839
Pre $2,309
Droid $2,839
Nexus One $2,339

. . . .

To report any errors or oversights in BillShrink's chart, click here.

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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