The Hidden Cost of an Apple iPad: How to Try to Justify Not Buying One

by Ry@SpillingBuckets on January 29, 2010

“Last time there was this much excitment about a tablet, it had some commandments on it” – The Wall Street Journal

The iPad’s intuitive method of interaction with an ultra portable large sized screen always connected to the web and all my media is pretty sweet.  Alright, so I am an Apple iPad fan.  Now, I’m by no means an Apple junkie or a Mac head (yes, we have an iPod…ok fine, maybe several iterations of them) but talk about a nicely designed product that I see owning and using.

So…
How do I justify not buying an Apple tablet….

Price. Yeah, that’s it.  Even though starting at $499 seems a little affordable, I bet I can double, triple, or maybe even quadruple the price of the Apple iPad through some quick, completely non-scientific, made up in my exaggerated but probably more conservative than the regular iPad user, head.

Let’s get started:

  • Buying the iPad ($629)
    • We will even stick with the 16 GB version which seems pretty reasonable, but lets be honest, the best thing about the iPad is its ability to be an always connected internet portal. Let’s go with the WiFi + 3G version.
  • AT&T; Contract ($360 per year)
    • Looks like AT&T; will offer an unlimited data plan for $30 a month.
  • eBooks ($90 per year)
    • I love books and with a cool new eReader I would certainly be interested in getting a few.  We will keep it conservative and say one new $15 book every 2 months.
  • iPad Apps ($50 per year)
    • 140,000 apps are supposedly at my fingertips.  I’ll probably need a few of them, the iWorks apps etc. so let’s estimate $50.
  • Movies on the iPad ($28 per year)
    • Watching movies in the car, on a place, on a train, in a box, would be great with the iPad.  I am not really sure how the rental or purchase store works but let’s just guess its like apple TV with $3.99 HD rentals. 4 movies per year sounds about right.
  • Music on the iPad ($25 per year)
    • I love music but really haven’t bought many new songs since college.  The iPad would probably rejuvenate that a little since I could browse and preview songs on the go and during down time. At $1 a song lets buy a few albums a year.
  • Productivy gains or losses (??? per year)
    • Having my email, the web, all my media files, at my finger tips is sure to make me more productive. Having my email, the web, all my media files, at my finger tips is sure to make me more unproductive.  I count this as a wash.
Ok, Lets run the numbers.
But you need to factor in the cost of ownership over time.  I’ve had my Gateway laptop since 2006, it doesn’t cost me anything to use, and that puppy is still going strong.  Let’s run the cost over 4 years.
  Now let’s add it all up.
So I conservatively estimate the total cost to own an iPad over 4 years, without buying funky accessories or waste of money product replacement plans to be $3,067.
What else could someone like me do with the money?
  1. Put it toward debt elimination.  We sure do need it.
  2. Buy 4 Spa2Go Portable Spas in Lime Green (one for me, Lez, and each of the cats) and have money left over to pay the increased utility bills.
  3. Buy 2 2009 American Buffalo One Ounce Gold Proof Coins
To put the final nail in the coffin (and you must be a new reader if you didn’t think I would throw this in the  justification pool).

If you invest that $3,067 in a tax deferred account earning 8% a year and as a bonus give up spending money on pizzas (If the average pizza costs $12 and we assume 4 weeks per month, then you would have $48 extra a month to save. courtesy of the Dave Ramsey quick investment calc) after 60 years (I would be 86) I could give $1,226,322 to my grandkids to start their lives and to give how they please.

So with all that in mind….

When is the iPad available again?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Clément March 21, 2011 at 12:50 pm

I think your completly wrong.
The money you spend renting movie / buying music etc… Should’nt be money you spend because of the ipad.
Don’t you read books and buy CD’s and all already without it ?
It’s money you’r gona spend differently, and you can still download a lot of content on pirate site for free. at this point iPad would be an actual way of saving money.

I’m not saying that piracy is the way to go, i just wanted to point that the money you spend buying music / books / movies should be the same you already spend on DVDs Music CD’s etc, so not a overcost.

Except the apps maybe, but most of them are useless or realy cheap.

Reply

Ryan March 24, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Yes we do all those things now without one but I think the desire to purchase and view more media especially now that we have this cool and expensive toy will increase. The ease of purchasing will also be much greater. For example before an ipad or e-readers it was a pain to view books on a computer monitor so we would go to the library or buy online and wait for a physical book to arrive in the mail. With an ipad everything is linked to your credit card for 1-click purchase fiestas. fun yes, cheaper media possibly, less or equal media consumption unlikely.

Reply

Rana June 15, 2011 at 1:46 pm

you know what…you are awsome:)..this made me laugh out loud

Reply

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