Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Windows Phone 7 Prices Quietly Dropping

Although the official prices of the initial Windows Phone 7 devices remain the same, various promotions are heavily discounting the month-old models, with Amazon offering three AT&T models for just a penny.

The Samsung Focus, HTC Surround and LG Quantum are all priced at a penny with a new activation, while T-Mobile’s HTC HD7 is listed on Amazon for $139.

Other retailers are also offering discounts, though not as steep. I’ve seen models at Costco and Target for half their suggested $199 price, while Best Buy’s Web site lists both the HD7 and HTC Surround for $99. Retailer has two models for $49 each and another for $99, after rebates. AT&T and T-Mobile are also offering nationwide promotions allowing those paying full price to buy one and get a second one free.

In fairness, this is the holiday season and lots of phones are seeing discounts. Best Buy is running promotions that offer lots of different smartphones for free–not just those running an operating system from Redmond. And Amazon has lots of other cheap phones, including Android models as low as a penny and had previously put a bunch of AT&T phones–including some Windows Phones–on sale for a penny (though that was only for a weekend).

Still, such sharp cuts probably aren’t an encouraging sign for phones that have been on the market barely a month. Phones–at least those other than the iPhone–typically get discounted at some point. However, hit devices tend to maintain their initial price longer, while those that are less successful tend to get a price chop sooner.

For its part, Microsoft has said it is happy with Windows Phone 7 sales, as has AT&T, though neither has shared any actual numbers on device sales.

“We’re very happy with the rate of sales given the fact we’ve taken such a significant reset from Windows Mobile to a brand-new Windows Phone,” Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore told Mobilized in a interview following his onstage appearance at this week’s D: Dive Into Mobile. “We need people to get reacquainted with what we’re offering.”

And, of course, all these discounts may well boost total sales volumes.

A Microsoft representative declined to comment on the various price drops.

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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”