Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Survey shows many of you have no idea how much you’re paying for your smartphone

Smartphone Contract Comparison U.S.

One of the interesting things about smartphone subsidies is that they’ve essentially convinced many people that they’re getting a steal when they buy a smartphone for $200 with a two-year service agreement, even though they’re making up the difference by being obligated to pay the carrier’s contract rate over the next 24 months. Now gadget trade-in website Gazelle has shared some new survey data with us that suggests many us are completely clueless when it comes to how much we’re really paying for our smartphones.

RELATED: Is America getting over its smartphone subsidy addiction?

Gazelle recently conducted a survey of 1,000 smartphone buyers and asked them whether they knew that the prices they were paying for their phones with two-year contracts were subsidized prices… and more than 48% of them said they didn’t. What’s more, 42% of people surveyed said that they didn’t know that they’ll end up paying the full cost of their phone over the course of their two-year contract with their carrier.

This is particularly interesting because less than 12% of people surveyed said they’d be willing to pay $50 or more for their phones, which suggests that many people really don’t know what they’re getting themselves into when they sign a two-year deal to get a shiny new flagship smartphone.

Check out Gazelle’s full survey results below.


Poll size: 1,000 adults

  1. What do you think is the actual retail cost of a smartphone without a carrier contract?
    1. $200 – 23.2%
    2. 300 – 8.8%
    3. 400 – 14.3%
    4. 500 – 14.3%
    5. 600+ – 39.3%
  1. How much would you be willing to pay for a smartphone?
    1. $200 – 61.9%
    2. $300 – 16%
    3. 400 – 9.7%
    4. 500 – 4.7%
    5. 600+ – 7.7%

Men vs. Women

  • 44% of men would pay $300+ for a smartphone
  • 25% of women would pay $300+ for a smartphone
  1. Do you know the price you pay for your smartphone when you upgrade is a subsidized price?

    1. Yes: 51.6%
    2. No: 48.4%
  2. Do you know that you pay the full retail cost of your phone over the course of your carrier contract?

    1. Yes: 57.8%

    2. No: 42.2%

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.