[dropcap2]T[/dropcap2]oday is the launch day for the iPhone 5. As with every iPhone launch, we’ve been hearing a decent amount of chatter complaining about the cost of upgrading. For $200 (and a 2-year contract) you get a cutting edge phone chock-full of bells and whistles. But let’s say you’re not the contract signing type; in that case, the iPhone 5 will set you back $650. While the sticker shock is strong, once you take a deeper look into what you’ll actually be getting for your money, you’ll realize that Apple is providing an amazing deal.

With all the available apps, it’s a wonder how we’ve come to take this amazing phone for granted. One singular item saves us money, time and the embarrassment of having to ask for directions.

The True Value of an iPhone:

Breaking down 10 of the most popular aspects of an iPhone, let’s take a look at how much money an iPhone can truly save you.

1. The Camera: the iPhone 5 comes complete with an 8 megapixel camera that shoots video in 1080 p. The cheapest comparable camcorders will set you back $170.00.

2. The Music Player: The cheapest mp3 player out there is around $25.00 and it won’t hold half as many tunes. And even the smallest versions of the iPods, the Shuffle and Nano, sit pretty at $50.00 and $150.00, respectively.

3. Gaming Console: We’ll admit, we think the XBox 360 (which costs $200.00) is better, but if we compare the iPhone with Sony’s PSP Vita (which costs $250.00), well, you see where we’re going.

4. GPS: We rely heavily on our phones to help us find our way. And while there has already been a lot of griping about the iOS 6’s new Maps app, we are sure that Apple will figure it out rather quickly as the Google Maps app that we’ve all grown to know and love will be re-launching on the App Store rather soon. All of this being said, a stand-alone GPS navigation tool will set you back $135.00.

5. Newspaper: We’ll set aside the fact that with the iPhone you can get a significant amount of newspapers and magazines for free. Daily home delivery of the New York Times (without any of the discounts) costs a hefty $800.00 a year, while subscribing to the exact same content through your phone is a mere $195.00 over the same period.

6. Rolodex: The cheapest rolodexes out there only cost $3.00 (the average running you about $30.00) but turning your social media accounts into your rolodex adds some serious value to it. You stay in constant contact with your network, thereby improving your relationships and generating more business. And hey, it even saves you $3 bucks.

7. Dictionary/Encyclopedia: For the sake of the argument, we’ll ignore the fact that a full set of the Encyclopaedia Britannica in hardcopy costs $3,900 and stick with the CD-Rom version you can get for $37.00. Add a $6.00 dictionary and you’ll not only be saving $43 but also thousands in bills from your chiropractor.

8. Flashlight: It’s a small feature that tends to be used every night and would cost $17  to carry an old-fashioned one.

9. Watch: Getting a watch that works typically costs $40 and while the analog ones may look nice, they typically don’t include alarms and stop-watches.

10. Personal Assistant: Alright, Siri may not be able to stand toe-to-toe with an actual virtual assistant, but she can do a solid job taking dictation, adding appointments to your calendar and booking reservations for a good deal less than $700 per month.

So, the final tally determines you would save $1,088 per year (minimum) by getting the iPhone instead of all the individual component parts and that’s before we throw in a duffel bag to carry it all around in. That also doesn’t include the $8,400 more it would cost to have a virtual assistant for a year.

Oh, and we’re throwing the whole cellphone aspect in for good measure.