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Palm Pre’s Rumored $200 Price Won’t Cut It Against the iPhone

Uh-oh. There’s a another rumor about Palm’s upcoming "iPhone killer" cellphone, and it’s not nice. According to "sources" the Pre’s price will be $200 with contract for new customers, placing it at the same price point as the 8GB iPhone. And if you want an off-contract one, it’ll be $1,000.

Uh-oh. There’s a another rumor about Palm’s upcoming “iPhone killer” cellphone, and it’s not nice. According to “sources” the Pre’s price will be $200 with contract for new customers, placing it at the same price point as the 8GB iPhone. And if you want an off-contract one, it’ll be $1,000.

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However you want to measure it, that’s a huge number for a contract-free smartphone, compared to the $700 or so of the Nokia N97‘s full price, or the $650-ish Europeans pay for non-contract iPhones. But it’s the rumored $200 price for new contracts on the Pre that’s the really nasty bit. It’s surprisingly large, though it’s not as big as the $300 upgrade price for existing Sprint customers.

In comparison, an 8GB iPhone, with all of Apple’s cachet also costs you $200 with a two-year AT&T contract. Okay that $200 is for an 8GB iPhone, with no option to expand its storage, unlike the Pre, and the 16GB phone is $100 more. But it’s for a highly desired device, with a jam-packed App Store, and you can buy a refurbished 8GB one for a mere $99 and a refurbished 16GB one for just $149. And that’s the old iPhone 3G, due for a replacement/upgrade/reinvention in only a month or so–and, if Apple’s past actions are anything to go by, the new one will cost around the same.

If Palm is going to take on the iPhone, and that rumored on-contract pricing is really what the Pre will sell for, then Palm might be in trouble. Especially given the rumored low build-cost: Those off-contract prices suggest Palm thinks its phone is worth more per unit than the iPhone, Blackberry storm, and N97…can that actually be true?

[via Boy Genius Report]

Related: Does the Palm Pre’s Low-Build Price Suggest a Cheaply-Made, Inferior Product?
Related: Palm Pre vs iPhone 3.0: A Feature-by-Feature Comparison

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