Sprint has cut the cost of its Samsung Nexus S 4G Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" smartphones, possibly to boost sales and get more NFC-capable handsets to consumers before Google Wallet launches.
the price of its Samsung Nexus S 4G Android 2.3 "Gingerbread"
, offering the device for $99 on contract.
discounts, even to the tune of 50 percent, are increasingly common among the
more than 400 Android handsets crowding the market. Verizon Wireless sometimes
sells Android phones via Amazon Wireless for a penny on contract to make room
for fresh inventory.
Sprint (NYSE:S) and Android maker Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) may have a tactical
reason for marking down the gadget: the forthcoming Google Wallet mobile
Launched May 8
for $199.99 on contract, the Nexus S 4G
is powered by a 1GHz processor and
features a pretty 4-inch Super AMOLED (Super active-matrix organic LED)
phone's most significant feature is its inclusion of a NFC (near field
communication) chip, which enables communication between the handset and other
NFC-capable gadgets or posters.
Gingerbread, which natively supports NFC, Sprint and Google tout the Nexus S 4G
as an enabler of mobile payments, which brings the matter of the discount full
Google is soon
set to launch its Google Wallet mobile payment service
, which lets
consumers tap and pay for goods at participating retailers RadioShack, American
Eagle and others. Citigroup and MasterCard are providing the mobile purchase
due to launch soon in New York and San Francisco, will initially only be
available on the Nexus S 4G, which has a secure NFC chip that will let users
safely store their credit card information to pay for goods with their phones.
With the Nexus
S 4G as the only phone slated to support Wallet out of the gate, it makes sense
that Sprint and Google would want to entice as many consumers to purchase the
smartphone. Without the client in the consumer's hand, Wallet will be dead on
spokesperson declined to take the bait on the Wallet speculation, telling eWEEK
via email: "Sprint
continually reviews its portfolio and pricing to remain competitive in the
Sprint, like Verizon and others, simply wants to make room on its retail
shelves for the Motorola Photon and other 4G Android handsets in its pipeline.
Indeed, Sprint's HTC Evo 4G and HTC Evo Shift 4G are also selling for $99 with
a data deal.
Of course, the
Nexus S 4G could also simply be just selling poorly, necessitating a sharp
discount. But the coincidence of marking down the Nexus S 4G so close to the
Google Wallet launch is too good to ignore.
needs a fast start out of the gate versus rivals such as eBay's (NASDAQ:EBAY) PayPal unit
, which is offering its a
phone-to-phone payment service with the T-Mobile 3G Samsung Nexus S
smartphones, Visa and others.