Last week Cricket Wireless became the first cell carrier to sell contract-free iPhones. So for $500, you can get a 16GB iPhone 4S – no strings attached. Man, five hundred bucks, that’s the cost of an iPad!

Granted, that’s not quite a fair comparison; the iPhone 4S has 3G, a $500 iPad is wifi only. Let’s compare a 16GB iPad with 4G, that is a more realistic comparison.

So we have two devices: both with 16GB storage, a cell antenna, and roughly the same processor/graphics. The remaining components – cameras, 30-pin connector, speaker, mic, etc – are also similar. The only remaining items – glass, screen, battery, and rear case – are significantly larger on the iPad. Correspondingly, this iPad clocks in at $629, which seems more reasonable.

But Apple charges $649 for an unlocked 16GB iPhone 4S – twenty dollars more than the iPad 4G. Weird.
This says a lot about phones and tablets in general. For roughly equivalent specs, phones cost significantly more. I’m not going to pretend I know why.


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