Are Smartphones For The Rich? Price Tags Ranging Up To $700 Say So - InformationWeek

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6/10/2009
01:05 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Are Smartphones For The Rich? Price Tags Ranging Up To $700 Say So

Despite the current economic gloom, smartphone makers are rolling out wave after wave of new products with killer features -- and killer price tags. If you've got some cash burning a hole in your pocket (we're talking $500 and up), maybe one of these devices is for you.

Despite the current economic gloom, smartphone makers are rolling out wave after wave of new products with killer features -- and killer price tags. If you've got some cash burning a hole in your pocket (we're talking $500 and up), maybe one of these devices is for you.iPhone 3GS

Want the shiny new iPhone? Depending on your status with AT&T, it's going to cost you. Newbs and qualified customers will get the 32GB model for a mere $300 (which ain't exactly cheap).

The raw, unsubsidized price is $700. You can pay that much and not owe AT&T two more years of your life. If you're still under contract with AT&T, you can get a small discount. It will cost you $500. That's still not cheap.

With a price tag ranging anywhere from $300 to $700, the iPhone 3GS has a serious ka-ching factor attached. (Don't drop it into the toilet!)

Nokia N97

No matter what your status is with any wireless carrier, the N97 is one expensive piece of hardware. The darling multi-media device from Nokia does nearly everything, and is sure to wipe out what's left of your 401k at the same time.

Its price tag is a whopping $700. If you were smart (but not really smart) and pre-ordered the N97, it was available for a less-threatening $604. Yeah, that doesn't work for me either.

Nokia N86

This puppy went on sale today priced at about $530. That's a lot better than its $700 bigger brother, but you're still talking the cost of a well-equipped netbook here.

What do you get for your money? Well, an 8 megapixel camera for starters, 8GB of onboard memory (expandable up to 24GB), and a host of enhancements to the camera's ability to take better pictures faster.

Sony Ericsson w995a

This is another multi-media monster. The new flagship camera phone from Sony Ericsson boasts an impressive spec list. The W995a has an 8.1 megapixel camera with autofocus, flash, and video capture. It has stereo Bluetooth, GPS, FM radio with RDS and Wi-Fi. It will be boxed with an 8GB memory card. That's all well and good, but you'll need six Franklins to buy one.

Yup, another $600 phone.

So, you tell me? Can the average person really afford these products? They surely each have their own lust factor, no doubt, but $500 and up is a lot of money to spend on a product that could accidentally go for a swim if you're a clutz.

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