The good news is that Amazon (AMZN) is now offering the HTC EVO 4G at an all time low price of $100 for new customers. The better news is that this price change is in line with similar price adjustments made by major retailers for more competitive rates for 4G phones.
This growing trend can be traced back to Best Buy (BBY). Last month, the company “leaked” their upcoming rates for the new HTC EVO Shift 4G, the updated version of the HTC EVO 4G that features a QWERTY keyboard and a smaller screen size. They priced the latest Sprint (S) 4G phone at an astounding price of $150 with a two-year contract.
Granted, these low prices only come with new activation contracts, but the effects are more valuable than the short-term savings for consumers. These prices signify a new direction that wireless companies are going in, with a new-found awareness of where and when to be asking for more money. Long gone are the days when phones can run upwards of $600. Nowadays, all a customer needs to do is ask for an upgrade. This offer from Amazon, for example, only asks for an additional $80 if the customer already has a contract.
Only time will tell if Verizon (VZ), and other 4G providers utilizing LTE technologies, will follow suit with reasonable phone rates. Sprint, a veteran 4G provider that has had 4G phones for more than six months, had the lucky advantage of being ahead of the technological game with 4G WiMAX technology that was developed long before Verizon was even considering broadening their 3GPP technology in the direction of 4G LTE. Recent 4G providers may begin providing 4G services at lower rates than Sprint started with last year. They, too, need to provide appropriate pricing if they plan on remaining comparable competitors.