Goes on sale Friday in several smaller markets
We made a comparison between what you pay for a brand new iPhone 4S on a 2-year contract in the States and what some 8.5 Austrians and other Europeans will have to pay when it launches in some 12+ hours.
We believe that Sprint is among the cheapest carriers in the US and this relative newcomer to iPhone arena can get you this phone for the standard US rate of $199 + $79.99 a month for two years. With this contract you end up paying $2118.76 for an entry level iPhone 4S 16GB, 450 minutes of free talk time a month, unlimited messaging and unlimited data. A 32GB iPhone 4S will set you back only $100 USD more and of course the 64GB version costs $200 more than 16GB version.
AT&T sells the iPhone 4S 16GB for $149.99 with 450 rollover minutes ($39.99) and 2GB of data ($25 a month) , so the iPhone 4S 16GB AT&T edition ends up at $1709.75 for a two-year contract, but if you need more data of text messages it will end up much more expensive than Sprint.
In Austria, thanks to the Drei (3) network, you can get an iPhone 4S 16GB for free, but you will have to pay €45 for 24 months. This amounts to €1080 for the duration of the contract, but for this €45, you get 3,000 minutes to your network, 3,000 minutes call to other Austrian networks, 1,000 SMS messages in all networks as well as unlimited data. They even give you 40 TV and radio channels to watch and listen.
This is Austria’s best offer as usually other networks asks for around €40 a month, two-year contract and still want a €199 one-off payment.
Most other European countries don’t have it this good. For example, German consumers pay way more than Austrians for iPhones or mobile phone contracts in general and this applies to most other EU countries.
To sum it up, Austrians pay roughly half as much as Americans for a new iPhone 4S and they still end up having unlimited data, 6,000 minutes vs. 450 minutes in the US, and 3,000 text messages.