Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for One IPad Owner

So you are thinking about getting an iPad? Which size do you get, 16GB, 32GB or 64GB? If you are debating on a getting a 3G or Wifi only model, I am sure that the additional cost is at least thought about. Each of these variable have a cost factor that most people consider before making a final decision. Either way, you predict that the iPad is going to cost you anywhere from $499 to $829, plus tax, and that's about it, right? Not so fast. You know the 3G version will cost a few extra dollars a month, but there will most likely be a few more purchases that you may make before your iPad is the way you need it to be.

You might want a few accessories, like a protective case, a charging dock or keyboard and of course the Apps. You can't forget the Apps.

Here is a breakdown of my cost for my 16GB Wi-Fi iPad:

My $499 iPad really cost me $858.16.

The next thing I bought was a $15 Sleeve Case from K mart. I was heading to San Antonio Texas immediately after my purchase. I decided to take the laptop with my despite my new purchase. I needed something to protect the iPad while in transit. K mart was the only place I could make it to before my flight.

The case worked perfect for traveling, but the iPad had to be removed from the case in order to be used. With this case, the iPad is left exposed and unprotected from scratches and drops while in use. So while I was in San Antonio, I purchased a $20 Silicone case to protect the iPad; it seemed so slippery without something on it. I was really surprised to find this at a mall kiosk considering the device was so new; good thing I was in a tourist town that catered to travels' needs.

As i began to use drawing apps and note taking apps that support handwriting, I found a need to use a Stylus. I purchased a $15.89 stylus from the Apple store.

I found that the sleeve case nor the silicone cover allowed me to prop the case up for typing or viewing videos/movies. To remedy this, I purchased a $14.54 case w/ Stand from Amazon. While thicker than the official Apple case, it was a 3rd of the cost. It worked fine for my need.

Ever since I had purchased my iPad, I had wanted a new case called The Wallet by Happy Owl Studio. This $86.49 case has in preproduction when I needed, so I went with the prior case from Amazon as a stand in until they would ship. When this case shipped, I was thrilled and now have my wallet and iPad case combined.

The iPad's screen will get dirty and it will do so often. You will need some microfiber towels to clean this screen. I have spent about $15.00 on various towels. Proper awareness and planning can reduce this expense; however, keep in mind that if you don't have a case like my "Wallet" which has a storage area, you may need to have towels available at multiple locations (home, work, car, etc).

Once I began carrying the iPad exclusively, my huge laptop bag was overkill, so I picked up a smaller Samonite Netbook Carrying Bag for about $21.20 from Micro Center ( a large computer superstore in Troy MI) to accommodate the other items that carry daily.

Because I love teaching about technology and do presentations from my iPad, I purchased the iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter from Apple for about $30.74. This allows me to do my presentations from my iPad and still project to a large screen or projector.

I did recover some of my costs, i sold the slip case and the silicone cover together for $20. I could have gotten full price for them, but I said a price before thinking it through. A coworker bought them and would have paid the full amount even though they were gently used.

I have not found a real justifiable need for a Bluetooth Keyboard or Screen Savers, though I do have 2 small scratches on the screen. These were caused by my wife's diamond ring before I asked her not to wear it while playing Plants and Zombies. Since then I have not had any issues.

You can not forget the apps, there are tons of apps that are free. There are more lite versions of apps that allow you to try some apps out before making a purchase. This was not an option for me a year ago, so I paid for some apps that I do not use today. Additionally, I purchased a database app that could only sync with a Mac computer (I don't have a Mac computer). Also, I paid $30 for Logmein Ignition to gain access to my computers back at the office and home. Today, I would have strongly considered the free version of TeamViewer to allow same function.

There are thousands of apps available for the iPad, so you need to do your homework before buying some apps. YouTube is a great resource that allow you to "see" apps in use before purchasing them. Combined, I have spent at least $150 in app purchases.

With a desktop computer, most people may never purchase additional software beyond Microsoft Office or maybe tax software, but with the App store directly loaded to your device, it is more likely that you will buy something. Considering you don't have to pull out the credit card every time, it is very probable that once you start, you will do it more.

So what is the point? Your iPad will cost more than then device's price tag. My $499 iPad really cost me $858.16. Think about the accessories that you may need and plan those purchases with cost in mine, because the numbers can add up fast.

By Carl W. Brooks

1 comment:

  1. and isn't this true about nearly anything you buy, whether it be a phone, PC, house or car ?


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