The Staggering Cost Of Owning A Cell Phone For Life

The Real Cost Of Owning A Cell Phone Over Your Lifetime Is Astonishing

Ah, the ubiquitous smartphone. Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em.   But have you noticed how prices have only seemingly gone up year after year?

But what’s the real cost of constantly upgrading your smartphone over time?  According to a new Flipsy report, the actual price of owning a smartphone over your lifetime is well over $75,000.


Do The Math

So how did the report get to seventy-five thousand dollars? Well, there are a lot of assumptions…

Assume you live to be 78 years old (the average US life expectancy), and you get your first smartphone at the age of 18. Now, assume you upgrade your smartphone roughly every 3 years (again, the current average upgrade cycle in the US).  Under these assumptions, you would buy about 22 smartphones over your lifetime, and if the average smartphone costs $600, you would spend about $13,200 in smartphones over your lifespan.

Surprised Face

Photo: Josh Engroff

What About the Wireless Bill?

But that’s just the cost of the smartphone!  What about that wireless bill?  Used to be you decided how many minutes you needed and which carrier you liked, and signed up for a two-year contract. Done deal. Now, with the average cost of an unlimited data plan around $80/month, the total over 60 years would be almost $58,000.



So $13,200 for the smartphones and $58,000 for the bills totals a whopping $71,200.  And that’s not counting app purchases, cell phone cases, accessories, and, and, and…

$71,200 DOLLARS.

The Opportunity Cost May Be the Biggest Cost of All

If you were to put that money into an investment account and get a return of 4 percent a year after inflation, it would total over $300,000. That’s enough to buy a nice home or travel the globe, or just prepare for the future.  So the next time you’re thinking about upgrading to that latest, greatest smartphone, you may want to think twice before you do!