So, you want to join the masses and purchase an Apple iPhone or iPad tablet. Well, let's take a look at some of your various options available, and the cost associated with each model iPhone and iPad that's currently on the market. We'll also get you up-to-speed on what rumors are circulating about the iPhone 5 and iPad 2, to help you decide whether or not to wait for these new devices.
Apple iPhone Is The World's Most Popular Smartphone
Since it was originally launched, a handful of iPhone models have been released by Apple. The most current model is the iPhone 4, which is now available with either an AT&T Wireless or Verizon service plan within the United States. There's also the older model iPhone 3Gs which is still being offered.
The iPhone 3Gs currently available from Apple is available with 8GB of memory and is priced at just $49.00 (a new, two-year AT&T Wireless service activation is required to purchase the phone at this price). This phone is very similar to the iPhone 4, but has a lower-resolution screen (480 x 320 resolution) than the iPhone 4, and just one three-megapixel camera located on the back of the device. The battery life of the iPhone 3Gs is also shorter than the iPhone 4's battery.
The iPhone 4 is currently available in a 16GB ($199.00) and 32GB ($299.00) configuration, with service plans available through either AT&T Wireless or Verizon. These prices require a new, two-year service activation. Without activating the phone with a two-year service agreement, the iPhone 4 sells for between $599.00 and $649.99 for the 16GB model, or between $699.00 and $749.99 for the 32GB model (depending on which carrier the phone is compatible with).
The iPhone 4 offers a high-resolution (960 x 640) Retina display, a five-megapixel camera on the back of the phone, and a second three-megapixel camera on the front of the phone (which can be used for video conferencing via Apple's FaceTime app), plus a battery that lasts for about seven hours of talk time, 300 hours of standby, six hours of web surfing via a wireless 3G network, 10 hours of web surfing using a Wi-Fi connection, 40 hours of audio playback, or 10 hours of video playback.
It's important to understand that the iPhone 4 is available pre-configured either for use with AT&T Wireless or Verizon, and they're not interchangeable. However, all versions of the iPhone 4 operate use Apple's iOS operating system, which gets updated every few months by Apple.
Currently, the most current version of the iOS operating system is 4.2.1 However, iOS 4.3 is expected to be released in mid-February 2011. Each new version of the iOS operating system introduces new features and functions to the iPhone.
The iPhone 4 comes bundled with a useful handful of apps pre-installed (including Contacts, Calendar, Photos, Camera, Weather, Clock, Calculator, App Store, Settings, Phone, Mail, Safari, Messages, Game Center, Maps, YouTube, Voice Memos, Notes, iPod, Stocks, iTunes, and Compass). However, all versions of the iPhone 4 are also compatible with the more than 300,000 third-party apps available via the Apple iPhone App Store (via iTunes).
Adding apps to your iPhone 4 allows you to incorporate a wider range of features and functions to the device, plus customize your user experience. There are thousands of apps available for free, however, some cost anywhere from $.99 to $9.99 (or more) to purchase and download. Some of the free apps are advertiser-supported, meaning you'll need to view ads within the apps to fully utilize them.
Aside from purchasing and downloading apps for the iPhone 4, a wide range of optional accessories, including screen protectors, cases, headphones, wireless headsets, and many other add-ons are readily available to enhance the capabilities of this device.
So, once you decide to purchase an iPhone 4, you have two main choices. First, decide how much memory you'll want or need within the device. If you'll be storing a lot of photos, videos, or multimedia content within the phone, the 32GB version will prove more useful.
The second decision you'll need to make relates to which service provider you'll sign up with. Keep in mind that whether you opt for AT&T Wireless or Verizon, activating the iPhone 4 will require a two-year commitment with the service provider you choose, and you can't switch between providers without purchasing a new iPhone 4 and paying a hefty termination fee (up to $325.00) to cancel your service agreement early. Your other option is to pay top-dollar for a new iPhone 4 (up to $749.00) and then sign up for a month-to-month plan with AT&T Wireless or Verizon, which can be canceled at any time.
To learn more about the iPhone 4 service plans offered by AT&T Wireless and Verizon, be sure to read "Understanding the iPhone 4 Service Plans: What It Really Costs To Own An iPhone," by Jason R. Rich, which has also been published on this website.