The real cost of cellphones

David le Page

Free cellphones are subsidised by the cost of the contract - that’s why you generally need to take out a 24-month contract, and why cellphones are often locked so they can only be used on one network. Which raises some obvious questions.

How much do contracts cost if you’re not buying a cellphone? Exactly what they cost if you are buying a cellphone. So if your contract is about to expire, don’t let your service provider fool you into paying an upgrade fee for a new cellphone - you can easily get a new model for free or for a nominal fee.

How much do cellphones cost if you’re not buying a contract? At Vodaworld, the following currently apply: Nokia 6110, R2 699 (R199 with a contract); Siemens C25, R1 399 (free); Motorola V, R4 699 (R2 399); Philips Genie, R2 600 (R329); Ericsson GH688, R1 299 (free), Ericsson 768, R1 799 (free).

How much does it cost to bust a contract? R1 500, no matter how many months have expired. So it may be cheaper to carry on paying it, rather than paying to end it.

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