As Told By Tam: Outrageous cell phone prices

Tamra Smalewitz

Is anyone else sick of paying over $600 for a phone? A phone that tends to break down after two years of usage, sometimes more, if you are lucky. I am sick and tired of paying an insane amount of money for a cell phone that does not last very long and did not cost much to make in the first place. I am also sick of paying an insane amount of money for a phone that only has a few changes from my previous phone.

The iPhone 7 (Photocourtesy of Wikimedia)

I have seen two options for buying a phone through AT&T – I can either buy the phone at full price or pay a certain amount for it every month on top of the monthly bill. Even with the new monthly plans, you will still be paying a hefty amount for your phone every month. I compared the iPhone 7 costs at AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. I found that AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint all offer the exact same monthly plans or offer for you to pay the same amount in full for the iPhone 7. T-Mobile, on the other hand, only offers customers to buy the iPhone 7 in full, without the option of a monthly plan. When I looked at prices for the iPhone 6S, each company offered a different price either in a monthly plan or to pay for the phone in full, except T-Mobile, which only offers to buy the phone in full. In previous years, whenever a new iPhone model would come out, the previous model would be reduced in price by half the cost, and sometimes the model before that would be free with an upgrade. Now, though, the phones are not advertised at a lesser cost but seem to stay in the more expensive price range. iPhone’s are not the only costly phone – Samsung Galaxy’s cost over $250, the new Pixel phone by Google is over $600, and Moto Z Droid by Motorola is over $600. These are just a few phones that cost an insane amount of money.


The iPhone’s used to be around $200 for the least amount of storage offered, but now they are over $600 for the least amount of storage offered. Of course, that also depends on what model you choose. No matter the model, cell phones should not be costing $400 and above to buy, especially when they do not cost that much to make. Of course, I realize that the cell phone companies are trying to make a profit, but it should not cost that much when a similar phone used to be hundreds of dollars cheaper.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia)

If we are going to pay $400+ for a new phone, I expect the upgrades to be substantial and not minimal. Some of the phone upgrades tend to come with a better camera and a few improvements that only the new phone’s user can do, while the old phones do not have the capability.

In my opinion – and do not get me wrong, I am guilty of this too – we are wasting our money on cell phones that should not be this expensive. The phone companies know that if they raise the prices and customers will still pay for the features and in turn, the phone company makes more money. Instead of paying these insane prices, customers should start complaining to the phone companies and get the old phone prices back. It is time to stop wasting $400+ on a phone when we can buy a laptop for the same price.

Collegian writer Tamra Smalewitz can be reached at or on Twitter at @tamrasmalewitz.