Mobile
Commentary
9/29/2009
04:10 PM
Marin Perez
Marin Perez
Commentary
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Motorola Cliq Will Cost $200

T-Mobile and Motorola said Tuesday the Android-powered smartphone would be available Nov. 2 for about $200 with a new two-year contract. I played with the Cliq when it was introduced earlier this month and liked it, but I think the companies may have shot themselves in the foot with the pricing.

T-Mobile and Motorola said Tuesday the Android-powered smartphone would be available Nov. 2 for about $200 with a new two-year contract. I played with the Cliq when it was introduced earlier this month and liked it, but I think the companies may have shot themselves in the foot with the pricing.For T-Mobile, the pricing decision was pretty simple - they already have the T-Mobile G1 and the myTouch 3G, so pricing the Cliq lower than either would cannibalize sales. Additionally, there are only so many subsidy dollars to go around, and the fourth-largest U.S. carrier could not eat the costs of getting this thing out a very low cost, as was rumored.

Motorola is banking on its Android to help it mount a comeback, and the Cliq is its first salvo in this war. But my only concern is that users can get the iPhone 3GS, Palm Pre, BlackBerry Storm 2 (most likely), and the HTC Hero for the same price or less. Early previews suggest the Cliq isn't even as good as those other devices, so the Cliq may have trouble standing out during the crowded holiday season. When you throw in the fact that you can get an iPhone 3G for $100, the Cliq becomes an even harder sell. It will likely be the main device T-Mobile pushes though, and the carrier's very reasonable voice and data plans should help.

I touched upon cost issues in a previous post, and part of me feels weird for criticizing a top-of-the-line smartphone that comes out at $200 because that was unheard of three years ago. But we're not in 2006, and the market conditions and competition are different now. I firmly believe the Cliq could have sold far more units and been more culturally relevant at the $99 price point.

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