Looking to purchase an iPhone 4S? Whether this device is your first iPhone or you're stepping up from an earlier model, you should be prepared to shell out some cash. Here's how much you can expect to pay for the iPhone 4S itself, and for the service that you'll need on the phone.
The iPhone 4S Handset
The iPhone 4S comes in two colors (black and white) and three storage capacities. There is no difference in price between the white handset and the black model, but the price for the different storage capacities varies greatly.
The iPhone 4S with 16GB of storage costs $299. With 32GB of storage, the iPhone 4S costs $299. And the new 64GB version costs $399. All of these prices require that you sign a new two-year service agreement and assume that you are eligible for an upgrade from your carrier.
If you are not eligible for an upgraded phone at a full discount, AT&T is charging $450 for the 16GB iPhone 4S, $550 for the 32GB model, and $650 for the 64GB model.
Sprint and Verizon Wireless subscribers who are not eligible for an upgrade will be charged the full retail price for the phone. That's $650 for the 16GB iPhone 4S, $750 for the 32GB iPhone 4S, and $850 for the 64GB iPhone 4S.
Those prices are the same for the unlocked, contract-free version of the iPhone 4S. Apple will begin offering it in November, 2011.
iPhone 4S Service from AT&T
AT&T requires that you subscribe to both a voice and data plan for the iPhone 4S. Voice plans start at $39.99 a month (for 450 minutes) and range up to $69.99 a month (for unlimited minutes).
AT&T offers three data plans: 200MB ($15 per month), 2GB ($25 per month), and 4GB (includes Internet tethering; $45 per month).
AT&T's data plans do not include text and picture messaging. The carrier offers a choice of two messaging plans: pay per message (20 cents per text) and unlimited messaging ($20 per month). Gone are the $5-per-month (200 messages) and $15-per-month (1500 messages) options that AT&T offered with the iPhone 4.
If you select AT&T's cheapest plans, you'll pay $54.99 a month. That gives you 450 calling minutes, 200MB of data, and no messages.
iPhone 4S Service from Sprint
Sprint is the only carrier offering an unlimited data plan for new iPhone 4S buyers. (Verizon Wireless is grandfathering in existing customers who still have an unlimited plan, allowing them to transfer it to their new iPhone.)
Sprint's plans package voice and data service together. The individual plans start at $69.99 a month (450 voice minutes, unlimited data, unlimited messages) and go up to $99.99 a month (unlimited voice minutes, unlimited data, unlimited messages).
If you select Sprint's cheapest plan, you'll pay $69.99 a month. That gives you 450 voice minutes, unlimited data, and unlimited messages.
iPhone 4S Service from Verizon Wireless
Verizon's voice plans start at $59.99 per month (450 voice minutes, unlimited texts) and go up to $89.99 a month (unlimited minutes). Data plans start at $30 per month (2GB of data) and go up to $100 per month (12GB of data plus mobile hotspot service).
If you select Verizon's cheapest plans, you'll pay $89.99 a month. That gives you 450 voice minutes, 2GB of data, and unlimited messages.