Cell Phone Pricing is All Wrong
Want to buy a cell phone? You'll need your calculator, slide rule, and maybe even your abacus to figure out how much you're going to pay.Theres something wrong with cell-phone pricing, and I pity anyone who has to try to buy a phone. The system is so messed up, even the vendors cant figure it out. When I previewed the Nokia 3650 , the company claimed the cost would be a little more than $400. In our
It gets worse. Because the 3650 is a GSM phone, itll run on multiple networks with just a SIM card swap. That means here in the US, AT&T Wireless, Cingular, and T-Mobile can each offer the phone (but they configure it in an appalling lockdown mode that restricts it to a single service). Heres where pricing really got interesting. T-Mobile charged $250, but with a $100 rebate. AT&T did even better. You could get the phone, after rebate, for just $50. Cingulars price was $350.