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Is $300 Too Much For The BlackBerry Bold?

In the day of the $200 iPhone, can the BlackBerry Bold, soon to be available from AT&T, compete with its $300 price point?
In the day of the $200 iPhone, can the BlackBerry Bold, soon to be available from AT&T, compete with its $300 price point?The $300 price tag of the BlackBerry Bold has me concerned. A year ago, that would have been a good retail price for a phone with the Bold's capabilities. Remember, $300 is the price after rebates and a new two-year service agreement with AT&T. Neither RIM nor AT&T has said what the unsubsidized price of the Bold is.

Think of the competition, though. The iPhone sells for $200 and $300, with no rebates, but the same two-year requirement. The HTC G1 Android phone, which goes on sale today, sells for $180.

If we look at the smartphones available just from AT&T, you can get the Pantech Duo, the Samsung BlackJack II, and the BlackBerry Curve each for $80.

Stepping up to $100 broadens the selection to include the BlackBerry Pearl and the Palm Centro. If you spend $200, you can get the new Samsung Epix, the Motorola Q9 Global, or the Palm Treo 750.

These are all capable smartphones, and all for less than $200.

Laptop Magazine makes the argument that, feature for feature, anyone who chooses to buy the Bold over the iPhone will be paying a RIM tax, not an Apple tax.

The other question the Bold's price calls to mind is, how will RIM and Verizon price the BlackBerry Storm? The Storm is arguably a more lust-worthy device, with its large touch screen and other media-friendly features.

What do you think? Is $300 a fair market price for the BlackBerry Bold? Can it compete at that price against the myriad devices that sell for $100 less?