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See, The Palm Pre Can Be Offered For Free

from the was-it-such-a-ridiculous-suggestion? dept

A little over a month ago, I suggested that Sprint and Palm were making a big mistake in not offering the Palm Pre for free (more specifically, saying that Sprint should subsidize the full price). I don't think I can recall a post where more people told me I was so totally wrong. People insisted it was the dumbest idea ever, and that it would harm the brand value of the Pre, while costing Sprint way too much money. Yet, I still stand by that claim. Sprint doesn't make money selling the phone, it makes it by getting people to sign up for at least two years of Palm Pre service -- which is on the higher end of the service scale. The Pre is not as good as the iPhone, and did very little to really stand out from the competition. So the way to get around that is to offer the device for free.

At least some people seem to agree.

The device is now being offered in the UK... exactly as I suggested: free with a two year contract. At the same time, through some tricky step following, you can actually get the device for free in the US as well. I don't see how that takes away from the prestige of the device at all. If anything, it's only going to help make it easier for some people to at least try it out as a phone.

Of course, my other big complaint with the Palm Pre -- its weak developer support still stands. Famed developer Jamie Zawinski just wrote about his absolutely ridiculous experience trying to get two simple apps available on Palm Pre phones. It's taken months, and they're still not available, even though he wants to make them available for free. Instead, as with the iPhone, the "approval" process of getting apps into the app store are positively ridiculous. I had been seriously considering getting a Palm Pre (in fact, a few months ago, I was positive I was going to get one), but without real developer support, it's just not worth it. I'll wait until a decent Android phone is available instead.

Filed Under: palm pre, pricing
Companies: palm


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  1. identicon
    Rodden Shaw, 1 Oct 2009 @ 2:47am

    Of course, almost every handset sold by a UK operator is free on certain price plans, which has been the case for quite a long time. UK price plans are, also, more expensive than those in the US, even though the infrastructure required to serve a more densley populated country is proportionally less expensive. 'Free' handsets ultimately cost consumers rather a lot and it seems to make a great deal more sense for consumers to pay the retail price for a handset and save money on their price plan. Maybe such a system could even contribute to a stabilization or decline of the rampant consumption that is causing so much waste...

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