You won’t find too many people claiming that the Palm builds Treos better than RIM builds BlackBerrys. Sales definitely won’t show that. So, if you are Palm and you are about to come out with your brand new shiny Treo 680 that competes directly against the BlackBerry Pearl, what do you do?
Sell it for less… CrunchGear is reporting that the price Cingular wants to set for the Treo 680 is $175 with a 2-year contract. That is a full $25 less than the BlackBerry Pearl.
The question, however, is will setting the price lower than the BlackBerry Pearl give the Treo 680 a fighting chance. I venture to say a little bit of a chance, at least in the beginning.
The cheaper smartphones get, the broader and younger the demographic that may be attracted to them gets. I believe that the Treo 680 will sell because it is cute, young girls will like it, and psychologically, parents will have less of a hard time spending $175 as compared to $200.
I can see the conversations in the Cingular store now. Parent to child, “I am not buying you a $200 cell phone.” Child to parent, “Well how about this one? It is less and I can get email on it too.” The Treo 680 is at the top end range for other multi-function mobile phones. Parents are going to be more concerned with how much the Treo costs more so than how it compares to the BlackBerry.
If Palm and Cingular really market the Treo 680, they may be able to capture new consumer users, especially the 15 to 25 crowd. If, however, the 680 follows suite for previous first run Treo devices, sales will dry up right after the holidays once the word gets out that the BlackBerry is waaay better.
My opinion is that the Palm Treo 680 will sell, but, it won’t slow down the ship that the BlackBerry Pearl is cruising on at all. If Cingular markets the Treo 680 like Motorola did the Q when it first came out, sales of the device may actually be pretty good. All “Treo” things come to an end, however. Usually sooner than later.
What do you think?
You are making a lot of assumptions. The main thing that you are forgetting is that Palm Sucks! and that the group you think will flock to the Treo 680 knows this.
Do these things have Wi-Fi, or, can you put a Wi-Fi card in them?
wait a second … the Treo is actually designed to be a phone, has a battery that can last more than the Blackberry by nearly 2 times (1000 mAH vs. 1800 mAH), has a full keyboard, and is definitely easier to use due to having software that people have actually SEEN before …
what stops BB from truly running the smartphone/PDA market is the data cost on BIS from companies like Cingular and verizon.
A person can get the treo 680 and use the Media Max 200 or 1000 package and still get their emails from a 3rd part client such as Chatteremail which is a great software.
If they buy a symbian based phone like the Nokia E62, they can use Profimail.
Either/or for $19.99 vs $35.99 for BB access. For most consumers that don’t get their data paid for by a company, it is a no-brainer…
I agree with Juan that, in general, what slows adoption rates for all smartphones is the cost of the data plans.
However, I would add that the BIS for T-Mo does cost $19.99…making it very competitive.
No doubt that the Treo 680 will get some sales, but I don’t think the $25 price difference will matter that much at that end of the price scale. I just don’t see someone willing to pay $175 and the cost of data being that reluctant to spend $25 more and get a vastly superior product in the Pearl. And yes, the avg consumer may not know that much about all of the technical details, but all one has to do is hold a Pearl next to a Treo and the size and styling advantage will become obvious.
I think the Pearl will clean up in sales, largely due to its superior size and style. Again, if I were a salesman, all I would do is put the 2 products in the hands of the customer.
It will also be interesting to see which product Cingular markets more agressively: the Treo or the Pearl.
My guess is the Pearl. We’re already seeing RIM ramp up on their own marketing efforts, and my guess is that RIM has a whole lot more cash to throw at marketing during the holiday season than Palm does.
In fact, one doesn’t see much marketing from Palm these days. There hasn’t been that much for the Treo 700p, the last new Treo released.
The only Treo to get the royal marketing treatment was the Treo 700w early this year, but that was due to the marketing dollars of might Microsoft.
In short, I don’t think you’ll see an Palm OS Treo marketed that agressively…Palm can’t afford it.
Yet one more comment on the pricing issue…if you read the Treonauts blog, you’ll see that the 2yr contract price of the phone is $275, but that there will be a rebate of $100 to lower the price to $175…however, and this is the big issue…in order to get that $100 rebate you’ll have to sign on to an unlimited data plan…which on Cingular runs you $44.99, as well as a voice plan of $39.99 or higher…
So basically, that $175 pricepoint will only exist for those willing to pony up at least $85 per month in service charges…
Looks like the pricing advantage is back with BB…
I think that this may warrant it’s own post… If this is true, it is the classic example of Palm shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to over pricing their gear.