Musings on my iPhone contract and iPhone vs iTouch ... blah... etc. (Tedium warning.)
A little while ago I wanted to finish my £35 a month iPhone contract when it ends in July.
Before the contract I used to be 'pay-as-you-go' and would spend £20 a month on top-ups. I suppose I got the iPhone because I liked having iTunes on it and I love being able to surf the internet wherever I am totally free-of-charge. (Well, 95 percent of places anyway.)
Now I am getting towards the date I can upgrade to an iPhone 4 (8th June earliest) I am beginning to look forward to that rather than ending the contract instead.
My Marantz M-CR603 + AirPlay and the cost of a 32GB iTouch.
My present iPhone is not enough (8GB) to have but a selection of my iTunes on it, so I would need 32GB to get it all in there with reasonble room for expansion. (Everything on my iTunes is 256k VBR rips from my CDs or 256k iTunes downloads.)
I could get a cheapo pay-as-you-go phone and a 32GB iTouch, but the iTouch would cost £254 and I would only save £15 a month on my phone charges. That would mean (a) 17 months of £15 'savings' before the iTouch is paid for (b) having to carry two things with me everywhere (phone and iTouch) instead of one iPhone.
Because of my 'existing customer' status, my monthly charge (after iPhone 4 32GB upgrade) would remain the same at £35 and the one off cost of the iPhone (as things stand right now) would be about £47 due to the 'refund' value of my current iPhone being deducted from it. (I never even knew they did that until recently.)
So, over the course of the next contract, I will be about £82 out of pocket (spread over 18 months) compared to having an iTouch instead. However, the convenience and the ability to use all of my iTunes (via Airplay) without the computer, without USB leads, without having to have a seperate PAYG phone. In fact any half-decent PAYG phone is probably going to cost me more than £82 so the O2 iPhone 4 upgrade deal may even be a tiny bit cheaper.
I looked into PAYG iPhone 4s but they cost almost £700 and surfing the internet would probably cost as much again!
Sorry for the detail, but writing all this out like this is a way of sorting it out and an opportunity for you to tell me if my logic is wrong or if i've missed something.
I guess the way I am using iTunes/iPhone now via AirPlay on the Marantz has changed my thinking towards the 'value' of renewing my contract with an upgraded iPhone given the cost of the alternative.
Paradoxically the M-CR603 has afforded me the chance to flush out most of the music from iTunes (I hardly ever played it) and dedicate it entirely to storage and playback of documentary/drama/comedy/spoken word/audio-books. I actually find myself playing music mostly from FM and internet radio and from my CDs again now the old Naim system is in boxes under the stairs. (Good job I kept all my CDs.)
Now I am just hoping Apple can refrain from announcing iPhone 5 until after June 8th because that will mess up my plan.
Sorry again if reading this has become 5 minutes of your life you'll never get back but I am sure I am not alone in questioning the value of their soon to expire phone contracts or indeed iThings vs other iThings.