Launched last November as an alternative to the iPhone, the touchscreen Storm has proven popular in its own right, selling more than 1 million units and opening the door to follow-on versions. Information Week reports that a "Storm 2" is in the works that will offer beefed up hardware, a better touchscreen interface and WiFi. No word on pricing.
Will the Palm Pre from Sprint be the next to chop its $200 price in half? Before the Pre even launched, TechCrunch reported Palm was already working on a "Pre-like" device that would use the same WebOS operating system software but come in a smaller, candy bar size and at a price of $99. It would be the Pre's Mini-Me. Instead of cutting the price on an earlier model, Palm would simply launch a cheaper one.
So are smartphone prices headed to zero? Does the iPhone want to be free? It's hard to envision popular smartphones being completely subsidized since that would be an expensive proposition for the wireless operators providing service. And pricing on data plans has also been falling. But the cycle of new models launching with concurrent price drops on existing models may accelerate so new phones become more affordable within a matter of months rather than a year or more. Will $50 be the new $99?