Smartphones can be costly
An April 2015 Pew Research Center survey sheds light on the costs. For Americans who pay for smartphone service through an individual plan, 43% say the monthly bill runs between $50 and $100. For Americans on group or family plans, 57% pay between $100 and $200 a month, and 21% pay $200 or more.
To make matters worse, many Americans encounter problems covering those smartphone bills.
The Pew survey found that 48% of smartphone-dependent Americans (these are people who have a smartphone as their only access to the Internet) reported having canceled or paused their smartphone service because the cost led to financial trouble. On top of that, 37% of smartphone owners in the Pew survey said they'd reached the data cap on their smartphone plans, meaning they likely racked up more fees if they surpassed the cap.
It's no wonder, then, that 19% of smartphone users in the Pew survey described the device as a "financial burden."
If you fall into the "financial burden" camp, experts recommend opting for a basic (and cheaper) no-bells-and-whistles cellphone to save money.