The trend with smartphones recently has been to make them cute and attractive to regular, everyday consumers along with making them cheaper. Starting back in June with the release of the Motorola Q, the price of these devices dipped under the $200 mark.
Historically, the lofty price tag on most smartphones, often exceeding $400 to $500 dollars for the device in addition to a voice a data plan, set the bar too high for many consumers. Lowering smartphone prices to the range of high end mobile phones with advanced features such as MP3 and video playback addresses one side of the equation. Data plans, however, that often cost $30 or more on top of minutes plans still make smartphones such as the popular BlackBerry Pearl cost prohibitive to a large segment of potential smart phone buyers.
Research in Motion co-CEO Jim Balsillie has talked about the possibility of carries offering BlackBerry devices without the data plans. My question is will we start to see cheaper data plans targeted at consumers such as the BlackBerry Personal Plan from Cingular?