updated 12:20 pm EDT, Wed May 20, 2009
Palm Pre wo Rebate at BBuy
Best Buy late Tuesday claimed an edge over Sprint and said that it will sell the Palm Pre at its Best Buy Mobile ships for the same official $200 but without the mail-in rebate. The difference effectively gives the retailer a $100 price advantage over the carrier itself, which is otherwise charging $300 for the smartphone. Why the difference is possible hasn't been explained by either firm, though one rumor suggests Best Buy may have very limited stock and doesn't expect to be hurt by the discount.
Mail-in rebates are typically used with the assumption that many customers will forget to redeem the rebates, persuading them to enter the store but without the financial impact of having to honor the discount. Phone carriers in particular often use this to minimize the impact of heavy device subsidies, especially for high-end phones like the Pre.