So you scraped your pennies together and you’re ready to buy the cheapest iPhone 5 there is: the 16 GB model with a 2-year contract. A pretty good deal, right? $199 for the best smartphone on the planet?
Not so fast. Consider your voice and data plan, which is going to cost you at least $1,440 over two years — and that’s for the absolute rock-bottom plan on AT&T, the cheapest iPhone carrier in the U.S., with pay-as-you-go texting. (AT&T is also the most expensive carrier; its unlimited plan will set you back more than $5,500 over two years.)