Friday, June 09, 2006

The Phony Smartphone Price War

Unstrung contends that "Cingular Wireless countered Verizon Wireless 's (VZ) launch of the $200 Motorola (MOT) Q smartphone with its own two-bill device this week -- the BlackBerry 7130c from Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM)."

Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney said, "This is not a price war." He thought that "what's really going on is that the upfront costs are smaller, but monthly service fees may be getting larger."

According to the article, "the BlackBerry 7130c costs $199 with rebates from Cingular. Consumers can get unlimited data access and download their web-based personal email for $29.99 a month. Enterprises can get access to their email via the BlackBerry Enterprise Server for $44.99 or use the gadget as a data-only device for $49.99. Other than the enterprise data-only plan, however, all these options require the user to also buy a "qualified voice plan" from Cingular with the smartphone."

Meanwhile, "Verizon will sell you the Motorola Q with unlimited data and 450 voice minutes for $80 a month. The most expensive plan it offers with the phone is $170 a month."

The article talks to enterprise customers to get their thoughts on the pricing....