Is he offering to pay for an iPhone, or an iPhone and the monthly contract with required data plan? I think whether or not you are comfortable accepting a pricey gift depends a lot on just how new, "new" is, and what standards have already been set for gifts. (If there isn't a precedent because this is the first gift-giving occasion, then yes, I think it's too early for an iPhone.)
If it is an iPhone and the monthly service, I would not be okay accepting a relatively expensive and ongoing gift from someone I was only dating. I think signing a contract with or accepting a gift with such implications from in a new dating relationship can be extremely complicated.
Some things to think about:
Whose name will the contract be in?
- If it's in your name and you break up, can you afford to assume the monthly bill? Is that something you would want to pay for if it wasn't being offered as a gift?
- If it's in his name and you break up, will you be okay giving up the phone, your number, apps and data you may have stored on the phone, etc.
- If it's in your name or both names, and something goes wrong (break up/job loss/whatever) do you have a way to make sure you can see the bills and keep up with them so they don't go to collections and hurt your credit?
- You say he's a good guy, but you also say he's new. Are you sure you're okay with him having access to all the numbers you call, your text messages, and other information available through the bill?
- Also remember to discuss paying for extras: data overage fees, texting, out of country calls, ...
The iPhone 5 rumors are speculating mid-2012. Is is something you would consider waiting for?