if (unlocked) treo650.cost+=100.00;

Retroactively posted February 4, 2005

Argh. Imagine, if you will, the following conversation...

Cingular: "Palm, we have a problem. Lots of people are deciding to pay the modest premium and get an unlocked Treo direct from you instead of signing up for our service contracts."

PalmOne: "Wow, sucks to be you. I guess you'll have to lower your prices or stop disabling features and locking people into excessively long and expensive contracts. You might also want to educate your reps so they don't sell people data plans at random costs between $20 and $80 a month when they don't know what to do."

Cingular: "No, we won't be doing that. The unlocked phone is clearly the real problem. Here is what you will do, 'partner'..."

So, as of yesterday, the unlocked GSM Treo 650 from Palm jumped in price to $699. Supposedly they are telling people the original price was a typo, but that's clearly marketdroid garbage. Apparently they are honoring the orders of people who got in before the price gouging, too, though this is not yet fully verified since none of those have actually shipped yet.

But this is still a really lousy move on their part, and just goes to show that PalmOne's true "customer" is not really you or me anymore, but Cingular and Sprint... and the customer is always right. Ugh.

Needless to say, the extra $100 throws the locked-versus-unlocked decision way off, and I would say even throws off the Treo-versus-Blackberry decision as well. $700 plus service is really a lot to pay for a smartphone, even more so when its paid to a company that pulls a stunt like this.