When we think about the cost of a smartphone we look at the usual things — price of the phone and cost of the carrier services. This makes sense, but it doesn’t tell the whole story in the long run. Smartphones add a lot of value for the consumer, with the ability to add programs with additional functionality. These apps extend the usefulness consumers can get from a smartphone and are, in large part, the driver behind the proliferation of app stores that have appeared.
GigaOM points to a recent study of apps that have location features. These features take advantage of smartphones that always know, either through GPS or tower locations, where the phone (and attached user) are located at a given moment. Programs can take that location and dish up useful and pertinent information to the user based on what is nearby. This is a growing segment of smartphone applications, and it makes sense to see how the cost of such apps compares on different platforms.
The study shows that the average cost of an app on the iPhone with location features costs just $3.60. Compare this average cost with $13.60 on the BlackBerry, and you realize that the cost of the BlackBerry over time can be much higher than that of the iPhone. The study also shows there are many more location-based apps available for the iPhone than for the BlackBerry, which further increases the potential value of the iPhone.