Best Buy now offering the new Palm Pre for $99.99, half the regular cost. However, this deal is available only to new Sprint customers, not current ones.
UPDATE: John Bernier, Manager of Marketing Strategy and Communications at Best Buy, says that the correct price for the Pre is still $199. He goes on to say, “Sorry for the confusion, the error is being corrected.”
This wireless phone company has been losing subscribers for a couple of years now, and has made no secret that it’s pinned much of its hopes on reversing this trend on Palm’s latest smartphone. Therefore it’s not surprising that this company is willing to heavily subsidize the price of the Pre for those switching from other carriers or getting their first phone.
Giving new subscribers a special deal on the initial hardware to entice them away from a competitor is fairly common in the mobile phone industry, because the price of a device is only a small part of what they will pay during the lifetime of the product. For example, those who sign up for Sprint’s Simply Everything plan when they get a Pre will eventually shell out $2,400 in service fees over the next two years.
Still, it’s clear that the Pre wasn’t bringing in as many new subscribers as hoped at $200, hence the special deal. There are few who will see this as a positive indication of demand for this new model, even if it’s not a particularly negative one.
Get in the Car…
To take advantage of this deal, those who are interested in becoming Sprint customers need to go to a Best Buy store, as this retailer does not offer the Palm Pre on its website.
However, the site does offer a store locater.
There’s an extra bonus for those who buy a Pre at Best Buy: this retailer doesn’t require the $100 mail-in rebate that those who go to Sprint stores have to send in.
An Overview of the Palm Pre and the webOS
The Palm Pre uses Palm’s webOS, the replacement for the venerable Palm OS. This is a new, multi-tasking operating system able to wirelessly synchronize a wide variety of data with online services like Google and Facebook, as well as Microsoft Exchange.
The Pre itself features a sliding keyboard as well as a multi-touch-capable 3.1-inch display. This device is also equipped with 8 GB of on-board storage (7 GB available to users), Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth 2.1, GPS, and a 3.0 megapixel camera with LED flash.
A Canadian version will be released later this year, and this device will also be available in Europe in time for the holidays. The GSM version for Europe and Latin America is expected to have the 3G standard HSDPA.