October 28 2009|12.32 PM UTC

Erik Chang

Droid vs iPhone vs Palm Pre vs MyTouch 3G: Total Cost of Ownership

Category: WirelessTags: , , , , , ,

After months and months of blogger buzz and a heavy veil of secrecy, the new Motorola Droid by Verizon Wireless is set to launch within days, just in time for the holiday season.

The Droid enters into a smartphone marketplace dominated by the Palm Pre with Sprint and the ever-popular iPhone 3GS with AT&T. But how are consumers supposed to compare the offerings?

BillShrink is here to help! While sticker prices are roughly comparable between smartphones, each offers its own particularly generous features. Below is an apples-to-apples comparison graphic that examines the true cost of ownership, select features, and cell phone plans of each phone.

Find the best cell phone plan for your Motorola Droid

Find the best cell phone plan for your Apple iPhone 4

And, without further ado, we bring you the Droid vs. iPhone vs. Palm Pre vs. MyTouch 3G… (now that’s a lot of smartphones)

(click image to enlarge)

Droid vs iPhone

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Check out previous graphics comparing:
myTouch 3G vs. iPhone 3GS vs. Palm Pre
Android G1 vs. iPhone 3GS vs. Palm Pre

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{ 229 comments… read them below or add one }

Meta November 25, 2009 at 6:27 am

You are wrong about the Droid. it comes with a 16GB card. but it is removable and able to handle up to a 32GB micro sd card. so the capacity is 32gb.


Frank November 25, 2009 at 8:04 am

I just got the Droid yesterday. I had the iPhone 3gs and decided to make the switch as I am a cell phone junkie.

so far, the only issue i have with the droid is the pull out landscape keyboard. It is difficult to type and I make numerous typos due to the keyboard. Maybe its because I am used to the iPhone’s touch keypad.

Otherwise the phone is pretty cool. It has some neat features and its awesome that its a 5mp camera too. I love the High Quality video camera as well.

I am a facebook junkie as well. I think that the Iphones facebook app blows away the Droids. Hopefully they will come up with an update.

Dont get me wrong, I recommend the iphone…. still.

but Im diggin the Droid as my new toy. :)

- Craving Strange! (google us)


bdtmz November 30, 2009 at 7:15 am

i just switched from att to tmobile, att just charge too much i was payin 100 for unlimited plus 30 for data plan for iphone n 30 for text altoghert 160 while with tmobile even plus more plan i can have all that for 80 bucks n add google voice to it n u dont need to worry abt what or which fone to keep.


vpc November 30, 2009 at 1:19 pm

I’ve owned an Iphone 3g for over a year and I find it unacceptable. As a phone the audio quality is not as good as my previous Motorola on ATT. Some of the apps are ridiculous, i.e.,the positional accuracy of “Take me to my car” is ludicrous. Similarly, a match gives more light than “flashlight.” From an engineering viewpoint the phone has numerous flaws–the battery should be user replaceable and the phone mute should be done in software–has anyone else accidentally silence the ringer when the phone was in pocket. I was considering an Apple computer but, based on their Iphone, I’ll stay with Microsoft. In closing I note that Apple realizes that it has somewhat of a cult following[they want me to buy an app to help me decide what apps I might want to buy] and prices its products accordingly.


drew kora November 30, 2009 at 2:01 pm

any other pre owners out there? I love mine. As much as I would love an iPhone, I am thoroughly pleased with my Pre. I save a ton of money with it vs. the iPhone, and it’s a very robust little device. If only the dumb app catalog would grow.


Gary December 2, 2009 at 8:39 pm

I’ve had my iPhone for about a year and a half now and have never had a dropped call or anything. Have never had any issues with AT&T at all. Only thing I wish was that my phone could accept picture texts like the new iPhone can. The old iPhone can’t, and I’ve even updated it just to make sure =[


Kris December 3, 2009 at 8:34 pm

I have a MAC Book Pro, and I love it, for the most part. Some sites I can’t visit because of the browser. I have an itouch that I got as a gift. Great device. So, I have wanted an iphone. But, my job has always provided me with a device…a blackberry. Not thrilled with the berry. So, now I’m really thinking of the Droid. However, my old job I had ATT, this one I have now is Verizon. I’m surprised to hear how good Verizon is because I have had countless dropped calls, can’t connect aboud 25% of the time on the first dial. Tech support has not been able to come up with anything. I’m at a loss. I really dislike ATT for some unknown reason, but Verizon has not proven to me that it is all that great and yeah…the pricing stinks in the US. Time to march on Washington?


Petty Officer Livingston Mcleod December 7, 2009 at 4:21 pm

I did have the choice on to go At&t or stay with Verizon and get the Droid. I was leaning for the Iphone until i remembered that the 3G coverage is garbage, and besides i had the Iphone before. Wanted to try something new, So i bought the Droid and Good Lord, I love it! I call him my little “I phone Assassin” He does everything the Iphone does and more. I’m especially pleased because i get coverage pretty much everywhere, Even on base. Still, Much respect for AT&T they did hold the title for “Most badass phone”.


Justin December 8, 2009 at 6:04 pm

If you already have verizon and you wait for your contract to run out, the droid will be fairly cheap, under 200$ plus verizon has great service and apps will be flooded.


Six December 8, 2009 at 10:38 pm

No Blackberry? ppfth!


Astaroth December 9, 2009 at 3:41 pm

To all the people complaining about the Droid’s weight: I am a woman and I carry a purse. I don’t have to worry about weight, so Droid wins.


Azstrel December 9, 2009 at 11:57 pm

Hey, thanks a bunch, BillShrinkGuy for this comparison. My fiance and I have been in conundrum for some time now as to wich smart phone to leap into.

And, What about the Google G1? Is there a reason why it did not make the cut for the comparison? We have had some interest in this phone. Waht do you think…I will do some home work here and read through the hundreds of comment too.

Thank you again, your comparison has at least gotten us closer to landing our new companions. :)


Joe December 12, 2009 at 10:26 am

I have the Moto Droid and it is simply AMAZING my aunt has the Apple Iphone and it is also amazing but not close to the Droid. The Droid can multitask and they just fixed the cammera slowness in 2.0.1. Apple makes a new IPhone ever year or so, so once you get a new iphone you will banging your head on the wall because they just made a new better iphone. Also dont be fooled by the Droids “small flat” keyboard because if your a super texter or a slow emailer once you get used to this phones keyboard you can just glide right over the keys. The screen on the iphone isnt as big as the droid or as high resolution. They are both about the same size even though the Droid has a built in QWERTY keyboard. I am typing this on 3G on the Moto Droid.


John December 13, 2009 at 3:47 am

The DROID is awesome!!!!


Mae December 13, 2009 at 1:21 pm

Great graphic! Let me preface this by saying that I’m one of the Apple faithful, have had a Mac since day-one, numerous iPods, in fact, love the company so much I bought stock in it.
I have had experience with AT&T and they seem to want to rape you cost-wise at every opportunity and they have their coverage issues.
I have many friends with iPhones, they and I love them, they’re very slick. I’ve been patiently awaiting when AT&T’s exclusivity runs out. But I’ve lost patience and since I’m with Verizon because I have GREAT coverage wherever I go. I took the plunge and got a Droid. I must say feature-wise, it’s definitely comparable to the iPhone. The weight isn’t an issue. I love the slide out keyboard, but for those that prefer the touch screen keyboards, it has that too, in BOTH the landscape and portrait orientations, so that makes a total of 3 keyboards! Also, on the graphic I believe that he was showing the base models of both phones (iPhone vs. Droid) as both do have 32Gb models albeit the Droid’s is user upgradable since all you have to do is take out the battery and put in a 32Gb card. It’s going to be interesting to see how this all plays out in the coming months. In the mean time, I’m absolutely LOVING my Droid! {:)


Brittany P. December 14, 2009 at 9:04 pm

Verizon DEFINITELY should win on here! If you want to talk about saving money, there’s a new prepaid plan called StraightTalk on the Verizon network and it is simply amazing. $45 for UNLIMITED calls/texts, awesome coverage, and saving an average of $500 a year when compared to a monthly cell contract… could it get any better?


Mason Mathews December 14, 2009 at 9:56 pm

I’m on my droid right know and things that it has the iphone doesn’t is a metal detector (don’t know how works but works well), physical key bored, barcode scaner (scan and then compare prices) which you need a five mp camera for and best for last, it is on verizon the obviously superior carier. Suck on that iphone. BTW palm and my touch suck!


Omen December 19, 2009 at 8:44 am

OK, I’d like to have my cake and eat it too. I have been a Palm user since they’ve been around. Currently a Palm Treo 700 with Verizon. Does anyone know if there are plans to make the Pre available via Verizon. I’ve heard rumors that this will happen. Thanks.


Jacob December 20, 2009 at 7:50 am

The iPhone just has more stupid/pointless apps….We dont want Flatulent apps we want apps actualy worth something. (Droid)


Kevin June 3, 2010 at 7:25 pm

I disagree… Although there are an abundance of pointless apps on the iPhone, i find that playing around with them are not so harmful, and in fact quite fun. Im not saying that the iPhone is better though, because i am all for the Droid. :)


Anonymous December 21, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Cool, though a lot has changed for the palm pre. app store has grown including gdial pro so you can voice dial.


cocofordroid December 23, 2009 at 7:46 am

I currently have an enV2 and i want to switch to the droid. I am on a 3 person family plan with unlimited texts and talk. How much more would it cost me a month to switch to the droid.


Kirk December 24, 2009 at 5:22 pm

considering purchase of droid. wondering if droid is capable of connect with XM radio? thanks


dd January 1, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Good summary, I guess, but not entirely accurate. I have the Palm Pre with Sprint and I have a better and cheaper package than your example here.

My package is single user, 450 anytime voice with unlimited mobile to mobile (to/from any carrier) with unlimited data (texting, internet… whatever) all for only $69/mo. I have insurance as well. My monthly bill with taxes and everything included is consistently about $76. Maybe I was on the lucky end of a clerical error at Sprint, but as far as I can see, you absolutely can’t beat that!!!


Robert January 5, 2010 at 5:33 pm

The chart is seriously missing an important comparison row: physical keyboard! Droid & Pre: YES. Also, the number of apps for the Pre is WAY out of date. Shoddy work.


Tyler January 7, 2010 at 7:33 am

This article and comments are ridiculous. There is no real way to compare these phones/service and present a clear winner. Each device and service will be different every individual. AT&T is perfect for some and not for others, same with Verizon and T-Mobile. All the devices have perks and let downs. There is no perfect device. You should not base your decision on a chart like this one. You should base it on your own situation.

There are several reasons I chose the iPhone. Verizon has very poor service in Lake Tahoe. AT&T is a partner with my company and recently installed a 3G tower on site. I get discounts with AT&T that I wouldn’t with Verizon. The iPhone works worldwide with AT&T and I travel. The list goes on, but is specific to me and my needs.


shejams January 9, 2010 at 7:53 pm

Hello all, why buy a Roid when it’s price isnt any cheaper than the iphone(3g,3g2) on the next competitors network? Secondly the iphone by far is the best designed,performing,sleek,innovative multi-functioning smartphone that has set the pace for all smartphone’s designers included.

There is a misconception about the iphone, people arent frustrated with the way the iphone’s performance or lack thereof, its the network unfortuanately that has overshadowed how ingenious it really is.

People dont get it twisted the iphone has set the creative bar/pace for others in this competative market. I dont believe there is a smart phone available at this time that has challenged the capabilities, performance or sleek design of the iphone. This leaves room for other technical designers and engineers to put innovation for their future projects to the drawing boar (Re-Invent the wheel).

I’m a diehard iphone user and supporter all the way. However the iphone makes its next mark in the months to come after the contract with AT&T is up, lets just say I’m already saving for the next model -I dont care whose its carrier. (P.S. Iphone 3GS 16GB Black for SALE!!!!!!)


S January 11, 2010 at 10:14 am

Palm Pre on Sprint is absolutely amazing and priced right. Got the phone for eighty bucks after rebates. Fifty Three dollars a month for unlimited Text/Data. Incredible GPS navigation, insanely well-thought-out OS, and just about any app I want right now (LastFM coming next month and I’m done with apps.)

This thing playing Quake and Need for Speed outperforms my old Dell Laptop.


smartphone themes January 18, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Why not in the list Blackberry??


Kelli January 18, 2010 at 6:25 pm

My husband got the droid as soon as it came out, he switched from at&t to verizon and he loves it! he doesnt have to worry about his signal anymore and his friend wish she didnt have the iphone anymore. lol, ive seen the two work against eachother, and i cant wait to get my own droid!


Aj January 20, 2010 at 8:12 pm

To anyone who cares, i have a mac and there was an update recently called “java for mac 1.0″ this will, in theory, allow macs to run java platforms stuff, eventually this MIGHT mean that the iphone can run java and c++ apps


tirso January 27, 2010 at 11:44 am

the droid is bettttttttttttttttttttteeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrr


GT January 31, 2010 at 9:45 am

I just had to chime in. I have an iPhone and ditched it for the Droid because of the network. To sum it up…the Droid is no iPhone!!!! The memory sucks, the phone crashes, and many of the apps in the app store aren’t made for the Motorola Droid. The multitasking is cool, but its a huge drain on the memory so if you are not careful, it will freeze your phone. Plus, I’m constantly having to delete apps to free up memory. The Navigation is the coolest part, but if you get a phone call when driving, it cancels the nav. I got lost the other day because I answered a call from my mother. Some multitasking. Finally, those battery stats don’t tell the whole story. If you play any games, those numbers are cut waaaay down. Probably because of the puny memory.

So, I just jailbroke my old iPhone 3GS. Wow! It multitasks, better than the Droid. Plus I can go to T-Mobile or AT&T. (Headed there tomorrow). Its very customizable. And the coolest part is there is an app in the store that lets you use the phone as a wifi hotspot. I hope Apple adopts some of this in the new iPhone 4G.(coming soon :-) )


bandsxbands January 31, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Reading these kind of posts reminds me of just how technology truly is ever-permeating in this day and age, and I can say with 99% certainty that we have passed the point of no return in our relationship with technology.

I don’t mean this in a bad way, of course! Societal concerns aside… I just hope that as memory becomes cheaper, the possibility of uploading our brains onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It’s a fantasy that I dream about almost every day.

(Posted on Nintendo DS running R4i DS NetSurf)


HLegggett February 2, 2010 at 4:28 am

I love the phone plans Sprint offers, the speed of network and the consistency of calls. I used to drop all the time with AT&T and with Sprint years before them, now they have upgraded their network so much, I can say, THEY ARE THE BEST! Phone for $.99, one free month service and new upgrade on p hone every year! Can’t beat that and their customer service has been amazing. I love the Tour, because I travel, but also love the Samsung Moment. I am not as fond of the HTC, becuase I don’t like typing on the screen. I love my little keyboards….


TMyhoffer February 19, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Purchased the Motorola Droid and received a free Droid HTC Eris (LOVE THEM!)…After weeks of research we decided to switch to Verizon from AT&T after being with them for eight years. The service was horrible and they overcharge for everything! We pay 20 dollars more a month but we have full insurance and unlimited web/email. Didn’t get that with AT&T! We did decide that the Droids are way better than the IPhone because coming this quarter Adobe flash will unleash its upgrade so that I can play my favorite poker site and enjoy all the things the IPhone has. IPhone is not one of the phones working with Adobe so boohoo for Iphone users. I may not have aps many free apps as IPhone but the ones I have downloaded are amazing! No need to purchase ringtones or games! i don’t even need my computer anymore because my phone is my computer! Way to go Google, kudos to you!


Greg P. March 4, 2010 at 5:13 am

“iphone apps require a mac (who owns those?).”

Hahahahahah. EVERYONE in the art field, from film to music to photography, that’s who.


Anonymous March 4, 2010 at 11:33 pm

In michigan my dads iphone’s 3g went out, and we had to use my droid for gps.


julie March 12, 2010 at 5:47 pm

My daughter has an iphone & loves the many applications, but she’s constantly dropping calls. I think I’d go for the iphone if the main objective of a phone weren’t to make phone calls : )


Anonymous March 18, 2010 at 6:20 pm

well i am a very happy droid owner and i liked them iphone but with the capabilities of the droid plus verizons network its not even a competition. The droid multitasks at the same rate the iphone single tasks so its not much of a question. and i do film and music and school on my computer and its not mac and i dont have an iphone


Jude1234 March 18, 2010 at 9:31 pm

The Palm Pre seems to me to be the best bang for the buck. I just got mine yesterday. Sprint has the all everything plan for $69/month. I get a 20% corporate discount because my company uses Sprint. Add $7 for insurance and I get unlimited everything for $62/month and the phone is only $149. Yes, I know that the plan only comes with 450 anytime minutes, but those minutes are only used for weekday calls to land lines (basically calling mom once in awhile). I have a BB Tour for work and the Pre is the perfect personal device. Love the BB for work, but the Pre kills it for personal use. $62/month with insurance…no other carrier can touch that with a phone as good as the Pre.


Jeaux(Joe) March 27, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Well i will say this. I love the internet for both Sprint and AT&T they both are rediculously fast. On the other hand whats good internet if you don’t have good service. I believe you get what you pay for well in the case of AT&T you don’t get what you pay for, but in Verizon I love their service and the internet although not as fast. If and when the day Verizon gets the iPhone I will be the first in line. I love the Iphone. I have a iPod touch and it is just like the phone minus the calls and 3G.


Frankyvee March 28, 2010 at 8:02 am

You guys forgot to mention the Driod has almost twice the screen resolution then the iphone. Images and web pages look so much more clear on the DRIOD. Sorry, Apple I foresee you losing a lot of customers due to fixating yourself to ATT Network.


Frankyvee March 28, 2010 at 8:09 am

You really need to own both the Iphone and the DRIOD to really know that the DRIOD kills the Iphone hands down.

Sorry Apple fan boys & girls. I was once there too. But Apple is too controlling with their hardware and apps.


Tyee Hart April 17, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Droid is by far the bast of the four. I like apple but my Droid does way more than my frieds Iphone can.


googlebot April 21, 2010 at 7:14 pm

“Hahahahahah. EVERYONE in the art field, from film to music to photography, that’s who.”

so… not programmers. the people who make apps.



Jacob April 30, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Verizon will be building the number of apps available on the Droid. Who downloads 100,000 apps on their phones anyways. Droid have awesome apps such as one that will make your phone go on silent in certain places (walk into church and your phone goes on silent) etc. Also the Droid is brought to you by the best wireless network provider. ATT is terrible with service and Verizon punishes them with 3G.


89mustang May 5, 2010 at 8:29 pm

i own an iphone 3gs…. eagerly waiting the arrival of the iphone 4g, but i really hate AT&T’s service as i do NOT get 3g where i live but i get it everywhere else i go. and i know people in my army unit that had 2 bars of service on their droids when we were doing battalion marksmenship and had to stay in barracks, they had 2-3 bars of service and were loading youtube videos and i was reading magazines because my iphone wasnt doing jack crap!


me May 6, 2010 at 2:40 am

way outdated. itunes has over 182,000 apps now as of april-may 2010. go iphone!


Luis "waiting for Droid 2" Ortiz June 4, 2010 at 11:35 am

so what most of them ( i really mean almost all of them) you have to pay for and i might add useless, the only reason they have so many is because you have a bunch of program geeks trying to cash in on I phone app Mania, they obviously got your attention.


rana May 9, 2010 at 5:02 am

motorola driod is awesome. look at the fuction it performs and its camera. please. driod is the next new hit!!!!!!!!!!!


draec May 20, 2010 at 4:56 pm

at&t is the only provider that has decent coverage where i live, and i own a mac (once you go mac, you never go back! lol) so i’m thinking iphone… for me the only thing the droid has on it is a slighter better camera. which i pine for…


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