Editors' Note:The iPhone X is now available unlocked. We've updated the story with that information.
It might seem fairly easy to figure out how much the iPhone X costs.. After all, even the quickest glance at the search engine of your choosing will confirm that Apple's latest smartphone can be yours for $1,000 — or $999, to be exact.
But like a lot of seemingly simple questions, there's more to it than what meets the eye. Depending on the capacity of the model you pick, the amount of protection you add and whether you need extra cloud storage, the price of the iPhone X could be a lot more than that $999 figure people toss around. If you factor in special offers from wireless carriers selling Apple's phone, and your final bill could look a whole lot different, too.
With that in mind, here's a closer look at how the iPhone X's costs break down, so you know exactly how much you need to set aside for Apple's top-of-the-line smartphone.
What does the iPhone X cost?
The iPhone X starts at $999. For context, that's $200 more than what Apple charges for an iPhone 8 Plus and $300 more than the iPhone 8. Among Apple's leading competitors, you can get a Galaxy Note 8 for $950 from Samsung, a Pixel 2 XL for $849 from Google and an LG V30 starting at $800 depending on which carrier you turn to. In other words, the iPhone X is the most expensive smartphone out there.
What about extra storage?
The $999 version of the iPhone X includes 64GB of capacity. If you think you're going to need more room, you can opt for the 256GB version for an extra $150. That brings your bill to $1,149.
How much does the iPhone X cost at each carrier?
Apple's pricing isn't the last word on what an iPhone X costs. Each major U.S. carrier also offers the new iPhone, and while the full price matches what Apple charges, your monthly payment can vary from carrier to carrier, as the payment period varies.
Here's what you can expect to pay for the 64GB iPhone X at each carrier if you opt to buy the phone in installments:
T-Mobile's monthly payment is the lowest, at $30 per month, but you'll need to pay $279.99 up front. The next-lowest monthly payment comes from AT&T, but it has the longest agreement, at 30 months.
With Sprint's payment plan, you're just leasing the phone for 18 months; if you want to own the iPhone X after the lease agreement ends, you'll need to pay off the remaining balance on the phone. However, under Sprint's plan, you can upgrade to the next iPhone after a year's worth of payments.
Carriers also offer deals on the iPhone X, usually in the form of trade-in rebates, that can further lower the cost of your monthly payment. For example, Sprint's current rebate offer doesn't require a trade-in — you just switch a phone number over to the carrier. That reduces your monthly payment on an 18-month lease from $41.67 to $22.22. Verizon is offering up to $300 off if you trade in a phone; only recent iPhones and Samsung Galaxy models qualify for the full $300 rebate, which you'll receive either as account credit or in the form of a Verizon gift card.
MORE: Best iPhone X Deals
What about an unlocked iPhone?
Initially, Apple was only selling carrier-tied versions of the iPhone X, but as of today (Dec. 5), you can now buy the phone unlocked from Apple. You'll have to pay the full price upfront for an unlocked model — either $999 for the 64GB version or $1,149 for the 256GB phone.
Even if you plan on using your new iPhone with either AT&T or T-Mobile, you may want to pick up the unlocked version of the iPhone X. That version uses a Qualcomm X16 modem, just like the iPhone X models tied to Verizon and Sprint. The iPhone X models from AT&T and T-Mobile use Intel's XMM7480 modem.
Why is that a big deal? Studies indicate that Qualcomm's modem delivers faster LTE speeds, particularly when the signal isn't strong. If you're going to pay $999 for a phone, you probably want the one that delivers the best performance.
Can I add more storage?
You can choose a model with more onboard storage, but Apple hasn't included a slot for microSD cards on its phones — and the iPhone X is no exception.
If you want storage beyond the 64GB or 256GB that comes with your phone, you can turn to iCloud. You automatically get 5GB of storage when you sign up for iCloud, and Apple gives you the option to add more cloud storage for a monthly fee.
Boosting your iCloud allotment to 50GB costs 99 cents per month. Apple also offers 200GB ($2.99 per month) and 2TB ($9.99 per month) options, which you can share with family members.
iCloud costs are optional, but if you think you're going to need extra space to stash photos, music and other files, factor in that monthly cost to your iPhone expenses.
Should I get AppleCare+ for the iPhone X?
Speaking of optional costs, Apple lets you decide whether to add additional AppleCare protection to your iPhone. When you buy an iPhone, your phone is covered by a one-year limited warranty, along with 90 days of complimentary support. Adding AppleCare+ extends that coverage to two years.
More important, AppleCare+ also covers you in two cases of accidental damage. You'll still have to pay a service fee — $29 for screen damage, $99 for anything else — but you can save on the costs of repair.
Just how much do you save? It costs more to repair the iPhone X than any other Apple smartphone. You can pay up to $549 to fix damage to the phone such as cracks in the glass back. Screen repairs cost $279. In contrast, adding AppleCare+ raises your iPhone X cost by $199. And if you opt for Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program, AppleCare+ is included with your monthly payment.
Wait, what is the iPhone Upgrade Program?
The iPhone Upgrade Program lets you switch to a new Apple phone after a year's worth of payments. You'll also get to enter your payment information before everyone else, which should help you breeze through Apple's occasionally buggy iPhone preorder process. And as noted above, you get AppleCare+ coverage as part of the deal.
In exchange for all of this, you're agreeing to a higher monthly payment. A 64GB iPhone X costs $49.91 per month for 24 months through the iPhone Upgrade Program. Otherwise, Apple offers the phone in monthly payments of $41.62 or $41.63, depending on which carrier you select. That extra $199 or so over the course of two years essentially covers the cost of AppleCare+ with the right to upgrade early thrown in.
The 256GB iPhone X costs $56.16 per month over 24 months when you get it through Apple's upgrade program. Otherwise, the phone costs $47.87 or $47.88 depending on the carrier you select on Apple's website.
Image Credits: Tom's Guide