Don’t let Torch price fool you

Research in Motion says reports
Amazon.com has cut the price of RIM’s new BlackBerry Torch 9800 smartphone to
$99.99 are “inaccurate and misleading.”

RIM, through a spokeswoman, said
that Amazon.com has been selling the new smartphone for $99.99 since its launch
on 12 August following an “obviously … common online pricing and promotional
strategy that has been used with many other product introductions in the
past.”

The spokeswoman added, “It is
true that Amazon is offering an amazing price and this is great news for
customers.”

Carrier AT&T, which sells the
new Torch for $199.99, said it is pleased with Torch sales so far. The company
did not provide sales figures.

Computerworld reported Amazon.com’s
Torch 9800 pricing without referring to it as a price cut.

However, some web sites and
bloggers have called Amazon.com’s pricing scheme a cut.

Amazon.com did not comment on its
pricing practices, although several analysts said that pricing would likely
have been a point negotiated between Amazon officials and RIM officials.

There are, indeed, many dramatic
examples of smartphone discounts on various web sites, including Amazon.com.
For example, the Sony Ericsson Xperia x10 at AT&T is listed on Wirefly for
$80, after AT&T had launched it Monday for $250.

In another example, the Motorola
Droid 2, released by Verizon last week for $200 is advertised on Amazon.com for
$150.

Blogger Seth Weintraub on
Fortune.com asserted that “every BlackBerry ever invented is heavily
discounted.”

On one Amazon.com page for
BlackBerry devices, a Bold 9700 phone from AT&T is actually listed as
costing 1 cent.

Several analysts, including Michael
Gartenberg at Altimeter Research and Jack Gold at J. Gold Associates said that
the Amazon pricing for the Torch shouldn’t be seen as an indication of problems
with the Torch or its sales.

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