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RANT! What Is The Point Of Retail Pricing For BlackBerry Devices

Sprint8330frontshotHave you ever tried to buy a phone at the retail prices? I have. I purchased an 8700 once from AT&T for $450. Then the 8800 came around with an even higher retail price. On top of that Sprint just upped the retail price once again. Their upcoming device the 8330 will retail for $749.99!!!

The crazy part is that after a contract the device price goes down according to Mobile Magazine.

Go for a two-year contact involving a service plan of at least $60 a month and the BlackBerry Curve 8330 can be yours for $179. Choose a plan under $60 and the price goes to $199 for the phone.

The $179 and $199 price point are for new service agreements, it seems, because existing Sprint customers will have to fork up $229.99 for the Curve, assuming that they have already fulfilled an existing two-year contract.

The general argument that carriers make is that they need the contracts to subsidize the phones. There is no way in hell that Sprint can make the argument that they are recovering $550 over a 2 year contract. This is just another way carriers are forcing customers to get tied into their contracts.

The funniest part is that even our friendly Canadian Telus carrier is claiming a $549.99 retail price. Does it cost $200 for Sprint to get their logo on the phone?

5 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. I work for a Telus Dealer, and the reason for the retail pricing is when a customer wants to buy it straight out, and doesn’t want us to activate it for them. If we don’t at least activate on a MTM term, then we don’t get subdized. At least that’s the reason they told me. 😉

  2. I’m always a bit shocked when I read stories on sites like this, about the cost of BlackBerrys and the cost of internet charges. I’m in the UK. I just got a Curve 8310. It costs £30 (about $60US) a month for everything. Internet is unlimited. I get 200 minutes and 400 texts each month and the hanset is free. This is standard in the UK. I can’t understand why it’s not in the US or Canada. Also, taking into account the differences between the US and UK economy (I don’t know about Canada), £30 wouldn’t actually be $60. More like $50. For example, a laptop costing £500 wouldn’t be $1000, more like $800.

  3. Totally agree with the rant! but blame manufacturers for not selling them direct! not carriers for ripping people off.

  4. Here Down Under (Australia), mobile telecommunications equipment can be purchased one of three ways…

    • Outright.
    If a customer would like to purchased a handset on its own, unlocked and without a service plan, they can do so at the “outright” price, which can anywhere from $AU200 ($US186.96)-$AU2,000 ($US1869.68), depending on the handset selected… The customer can then sign-up to a month-to-month (no contract) or 12/18/24-month contract, depending on the service provider.

    In some cases, service providers in-directly discourage month-to-month (non-contract) plans by charging a higher rate or not including as much value, compared to other options…

    • Repayment option.
    Whilst the exact term differs from service provider-to-service provider, the most popular choice for local customers is to “pay-off” the “outright” cost of a device over 12 or 24 months (usually the latter) – this is in addition to one’s service plan, and usually there is a “minimum” service plan that a customer can connect to with an individual device, based on a range of factors including (but not limited to) the outright price and popularity of a device.

    • Subsidised handset.
    Usually reserved for older, cheaper or less-popular handsets, subsidised handsets are included in the cost of one’s service plan over 24 months (a small number of service providers also do this over 36 months), essentially making the handset “free”…

    Such a system was once used by virtually all of the Australian service providers, however most service providers either directly or in-directly discourage such plans, in favour of the repayment option above.

    So as you can see, despite having more cellphones-per-capita here, we are also amongst the most expensive for these and other reasons…

    Sadly, it’s unlikely to change anytime soon.

    ~ Posted wirelessly from my BlackBerry 8800 ~

  5. You notice the “retail” price of all berries is going up now?

    Personally, its all marketing mumbo-jumbo, so carriers can put a sign on devices in the store with a huge price tag and then “their” price to convince lemmings what a “deal” they are getting by going with longer contract.

    But reason aside, if we weren’t getting subsidized handsets, we’d be paying at a minimum iPhone-ish prices for a berry. Wouldn’t surprise me to see $500 or more though I DO think $750 for a curve is ridiculous. Combine that with occasional “sales” though (maybe $200 off for an occasional 1 week sale) like all other consumer electronics, and we’re in the ballpark.

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