Finding the cheapest wireless plan for your new iPhone 11 or any other smartphone can be a difficult and time consuming. A new study may help.
Financial-advising website WalletHub analyzed the total cost of owning a new iPhone 11 for two years. The figures include the cost of buying the $699 iPhone 11, as well as the monthly payments to either major carriers, like Verizon or AT&T, or smaller wireless companies, like Boost Mobile or Visible, over a two-year period.
Needless to say, no mobile service is cheap. But you can save up to $819 on individual plans and $1,593 on a four-person family plan.
Read on to learn more about carrier plans for iPhone 11, which will be available starting on Friday.
First, Some Assumptions
WalletHub's numbers are based on a buying a 64GB iPhone 11, price $699, and then spreading the cost over a two years with monthly installment payments or through Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program.
It also looked at both individual plans and four-line family plans at all four major carriers, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T. It also included plans from alternative carriers, including Visible, Walmart Family Mobile, Boost Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile, Cricket Wireless, Straight Talk, Page Plus, and Virgin Mobile.
The carrier plans evaluated are all unlimited that let users text, talk, and use as much data as they want. Finally, WalletHub assumed that customers would enroll in auto-pay on their plans, which would save them $5 to $10 monthly.
Major Carrier Individual Plans
T-Mobile came out the winner in terms of price for an individual plan. The cost: $2,042, substantially cheaper than other major carriers.
- T-Mobile Carrier Installment Plan: $2,042
- Sprint Carrier Installment Plan: $2,062
- T-Mobile No Contract Plan: $2,078
Most Expensive Plans
- AT&T Plan with Apple Installments: $2,431
- Verizon Plan with Apple Installments: $2,421
- AT&T No Contract Plan: $2,326
Major Carrier Family Plans
Sprint, among major carriers, is the cheapest carrier for family plans at $3,064.
- Sprint Carrier Installment Plan: $3,064
- Sprint No Contract Plan: $3,099
- Sprint Plan with Apple Installments: $3,205
Most Expensive Plans
- AT&T Plan with Apple Installments: $4,572
- AT&T No Contract Plan: $4,467
- AT&T Carrier Installment Plan: $4,432
Alternative Carrier Individual Plans
Alternative carriers use major carrier networks to provide their service and sometimes don't even operate brick-and-mortar stores. But according to the WalletHub, these services are more affordable.
Visible, a carrier that has no stores or annual contracts, and uses Verizon's LTE network, was the least expensive among them with iPhone 11 and mobile service for two years costing just $1,612.
- Visible No Contract Plan: $1,612
- Walmart FamilyMobile No Contract Plan: $1,837
- StraightTalk, Boost Mobile, PagePlus, and Metro by T-Mobile No Contract Plans: All $1,840
Most Expensive Plan
Alternative Carrier Family Plans
Since few alternative carriers offer family plans, trying to determine which option is cheapest can be difficult. Most providers in this category sell only individual plans, requiring each family member to have his or her own account.
However, WalletHub said that four carriers—Cricket Wireless, Boost Mobile, Walmart FamilyMobile, and Metro by T-Mobile—offered iPhone 11 family plans.
- Cricket Wireless: $2,979
- Walmart Family Mobile: $3,538
- Boost Mobile: $3,891
- Metro by T-Mobile: $3,891
A True Savings?
If nothing else, WalletHub's numbers show that shopping around can be a smart move for budget-conscious shoppers. That said, the decision about which carrier to choose shouldn't only be based on cost. Other factors like the reliability of a carrier network, how much coverage a carrier provides in areas where the customer lives, and the quality of customer service should also be considered.