The blogosphere is breathless with speculation about how newly undead Palm (PALM) will price the device that wowed this year’s wilted CES. Palm CEO Ed Colligan originally hallucinated that he could charge more for the handset than Apple and RIM charge for theirs, Venturebeat says, but thankfully, he has since returned to sanity. Now he may just want $149.
Venturebeat: Initially, it seemed that Palm planned to charge more than the $199 (and $299) that AT&T and Apple charge for the iPhone, since Palm’s chief executive Ed Colligan indicated it was a better device, and as such could command a higher price tag. This seemed confirmed by a report a few days ago that the Pre may be $399 on Sprint’s network. But those numbers have been clarified a bit further.
Palm is still finalising pricing for the Pre, but tentatively is talking about charging either $399 or $499 for Pre without a contract, says Mobile-review (Unwired View breaks it down in English). But with a contract, those numbers are expected to fall to either $149 or $199 — which would put it at or below the iPhone price in the United States (which requires a two-year contract with AT&T).
The report also suggests that Palm may be limited to an initial production run of 200,000 units due to a shortage of displays, but that bulk production will be ready for the holiday shopping season of 2009.
Of course, it doesn’t really matter what Palm sells the Pre for if you have to use it on Sprint.