updated 11:45 am EDT, Fri July 9, 2010
Garminfone price slash hints at low interest
T-Mobile contributed to concerns about ASUS and Garmin today by quietly dropping the price of the Garminfone from its original $200 to $130. The discount still needs a $50 rebate but appears to be permanent rather than a short-term sale. It follows just a month after the phone reached stores and is rare for any new device.
The price slash supports one analyst estimate that the phone was selling poorly, with many stores moving five phones or less. ASUS has denied any problems. Price cuts are nonetheless usually reserved for phones that are either nearing their end of life or failing to sell; Palm saw its phone prices drop sharply at Verizon after it missed its sales targets by a wide margin, and the same carrier halved prices to clear out Kin stock.
On T-Mobile, the Garminfone has to compete against the myTouch 3G Slide, which has a newer OS and more features, and will soon have to compete against the Samsung Vibrant, which outclasses the earlier Android phone in most categories despite having the same $200 price tag on launch. Customers considering a switch of carriers are also likely to compare the Garminfone to the more advanced Droid X, Evo 4G and iPhone 4.
Traditionally, carriers have refused to comment on the motivations for price cuts.