Last week T-Mobile said that the high demand for the G2x had resulted in “inventory constraints,”and that it was working with LG to get the device back on shelves as quickly as possible. As a result of those constraints, however, the carrier has increased the price of the G2x to $249.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate —a $50 boost from its debut price of $199. Hopefully T-Mobile drops the cost back down after LG increases its production volume, but the carrier has given no indication that will be the case. More →
AT&T has confirmed to BGR that it has made changes to early upgrade pricing for its smartphones. The changes impact customers who wish to upgrade to a new smartphone but are not yet eligible for an upgrade at fully discounted two-year contract prices. An imminent change to AT&T’s early upgrade pricing for smartphones was first reported on Friday by Android enthusiast blog Android Central. AT&T has now confirmed that off-contract early upgrade pricing has increased by $50 for all smartphones including the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, Windows Phones and Android devices. Pricing has increased by $150 when the aforementioned devices are purchased with a one-year agreement. “We’ve updated our early upgrade and no commitment price points for smartphones and feature phones,” an AT&T spokesperson told BGR. “Only customers who are not yet upgrade eligible or who do not want to sign a contract are impacted. As mobile devices become more sophisticated, their cost goes up. This change reflects the increased costs, while still allowing us to offer customers the latest device before they qualify. We’re happy to discuss individual account and upgrade needs one-on-one with customers.”
In a move that smacks convention right in the face with the back of its hand, T-Mobile has raised the prices of two old smartphones. Rumors of such a move have been circulating for a while but logic and reason made it hard for us to believe such a move would ever be carried out. But alas. The gray-haired T-Mobile myTouch 4G and T-Mobile G2 have both been bumped from $199.99 to $249.99 on contract. $250 is a steep price for last year’s gear, especially considering how fast Android evolves. We’re now looking at dual-core demons and T-Mobile wants a premium for old wares? Luckily, some other phones have seen price adjustments in the proper direction, including the myTouch 3G Slide ($99.99), the Samsung Gravity T ($29.99), the Gravity 3 ($19.99) and the Smiley (free). More →
There once was a time when stealing music was cut and dry; either you paid for music and it was legit, or you downloaded music for free and it was stolen. Aiming to do away with the simplicity of that structure, Grooveshark is one of several companies that treads in a gray area where many of its customers pay for the ability to stream music — but they’re still stealing. Grooveshark does not pay royalties for much of the music it allows users to stream on demand, though it does currently have multiple revenue streams including advertising and a paid VIP subscription plan. By paying for the latter, which runs $3 per month, users are able to forgo the former. Starting December 1st, however, that $3 will become $9 when Grooveshark ends its special introductory VIP promotion. Grooveshark VIP will become Grooveshark Anywhere and its benefits will remain the same (no ads, streaming to desktop and mobile apps, etc.), and a new option dubbed Grooveshark Plus will emerge that brings all of Anywhere’s benefits minus the mobile streaming. So, if paying for music without being certain that your favorite artists are being supported floats your boat, definitely jump on board before tomorrow and you’ll be grandfathered into the $3 rate until you stop paying — or until Grooveshark goes under. More →
Some Canadians in the market for a new BlackBerry might have noticed that Rogers recently enacted a price hike on the three-year contract prices for some of its most popular BlackBerry devices. The price increases saw the Curve 83xx go to $149.99 (up $50), Curve 8900 to $224.99 (up $25) and the Bold go to $299.99 (up $50). While most handset price increases are done after an evaluation of a supply and demand model, it seems that Rogers decided to throw caution to the wind after some senior executives noticed the budget for acquisitions was currently $30 million in the red. One of our ninjas passed along the following email, allegedly sent out by a Rogers VP:
On Wednesday, the senior executive team realized that they were over budget $30 million dollars on their cost of acquisition. How I don’t know why it took so long. [sic] They then did their knee jerk response. Your DBM’s and other local managers know nothing more than this and are in the dark as much as we are on this other than we were told VERBALLY that in market quotes would be honored for 30 days from today. The exception lists are due Monday and only for non named accounts. I have requested in every region for a positioning statement and to this moment have not heard a response. If it makes you feel any better the retail has even more uncertainty.
Our only question is other than advertising, marketing and promotions, what the hell could Rogers have been spending so much money on to make them go so far over budget in acquisitions? It’s not like they were buying new subcribers steak dinners for signing up…