Like cars and houses, the purchase price of a smartphone is just the beginning of what it will cost you. The total cost of ownership includes using it--with a house it’s upkeep, a car it’s maintenance and fuel, and with a smartphone it’s the cost of your monthly service. Billshrink.com has calculated an initial estimate of the cost of using Google’s shiny new Nexus One, and, comparatively speaking, it fares well against the competition.
There are a number of variables in play when calculating total cost, but the basics are simple: assume a two year contract with a service provider, figure out the cost of an average and unlimited usage plan (on 3G networks), and add in the cost of the discounted phone. For a two year period a Nexus One will cost you between $2,339 and $2,579. (Or $97.46 to $107.46 per month.)
That makes the Nexus One the second cheapest among the iPhone, Palm Pre, and Motorola Droid. The Pre comes in with the lowest cost, but not by much: $2,309 to $2,549 for 24 months. The iPhone and Droid tied for most expensive: $2,839 to $3,799 for 24 months. And an agreement-free Nexus One will also cost you lest coin, $529, with the Pre costing $550, the iPhone and Droid $599.
Spec-wise you may be getting a tad less with the Nexus One. It comes with 4 GB of storage, while the others come with 8 GB or more. (But, the Nexus One is expandable to 32 GB, same as the Droid. The iPhone and Pre are fixed.) There aren’t as many apps for the Nexus One as the iPhone (nor are there as many stars in the night sky as there are apps for the iPhone). And, as one snarky commenter notes: the Nexus One is on T-Mobile, so good luck with that.
The Nexus One is available unlocked, which allows you to pick the carrier you want. And a CDMA version, for Verizon, is expected out this spring. So pricing dynamics may change once all the dust has settled.
Pre and the webOS have brought about Palm's revival. Now that it is back in the hunt, it can comfortably concentrate on growth. It now features nearly 950 titles and is expected to cross the 1,000 app mark after Palm's CES keynote. The pace at which apps are being added to the App Catalog is a trickle compared to the App Store, which hit the 10,000 apps mark in just six months (almost the time Palm's mobile app store has been around). The Palm App Catalog is just not in the App Store league and might never leap so high, but it is important for Palm to keep moving in the right direction.
Sprint has begun pushing out its webOS 1.3.5 update to Palm Pre customers, which comes with a pretty extensive changelog. But the biggest tweaks might be the removal of the app storage limit, better performance, and improved battery life.
Other changes include:
App Catalog significantly improves the application download experience
Simultaneous downloads of multiple apps now possible
The ability to manually pause, resume, and cancel downloads
A user can performance a full erase by pressing and holding Sym + the Orange/Option key + power for 10 seconds
A user can now edit forwarded text for all email account types
After taking the 1.3.5 update, users can download future updates for a 2G (1xRTT, GPRS, EDGE) data connection by opening Updates and tapping Download Now
After months of silence, Emblaze has decided to show off their upcoming First Else phone. The First Else is running on a custom operating system powered by the Access Linux Platform 3.0. The user interface is, in a word, stunning. It uses a largely blue on black palette, but throws in lots of attractive animations and effects. The main UI was referred to as "the death of main menu". The user is presented with an arch listing various options along its length. By sliding a thumb along it, any menu can be opened without using another finger or changing your grip.
The First Else also uses a “fish eye” system to highlight and slightly magnify selections on the phone. The fish eye is basically a floating context menu in the center of the display. The whole affair just feels very sci-fi.
The hardware is also impressive. The handset will rock the TI OMAP 3430 chip, the same as is in the iPhone 3GS, Palm Pre, and Motorola Droid. The capacitive LCD screen is 3.5 inches with a resolution of 854x480, again the same as the Droid. The notification area resides on a small OLED strip above the main display, which is a nice touch. Finally, a 1450mAh battery keeps the whole affair running at least one hour longer than an iPhone. No one knows if the First Else will come to an American Carrier, but the phone will be HSDPA/EDGE only. Cross your fingers AT&T and T-Mobile fans.
Apple is all about controlling their products and services. So it’s no surprise that they have locked the Palm Pre out of iTunes again in the new version of the software. The 88.5 MB update, v9.0.2, added support for the new version of the Apple TV software, but for those Pre owners that didn’t investigate fully, it also broke their syncing capability.
Apple and Palm have been playing this game since the Pre came out back in June. Palm knew from the start that Apple could continue issuing updates forever, but they hoped to get some support from the wider tech community. After having their complaint to the USB Implementers Forum thrown out, Palm was also told that their practice of faking Apple’s USB ID was unacceptable.
There are numerous ways to sync music with a Palm Pre, but Palm seems only to be interested in iTunes. There’s an argument to be made for Apple here: It’s their software, and they can do what they want. Would it be nice if they let the Pre sync? Sure, but it probably isn’t going to happen. In the meantime, Palm just isn’t providing their customers with a reasonable syncing experience. Should Palm just get over it? Should Apple take the high road and stop the patch battle? Let us know in the comments.
After the USB Implementers Forum reprimanded Palm for using Apple’s USB Vendor ID to re-enable iTunes sync on the Pre – Apple had blocked Palm’s Vendor ID, Palm was left with little choice but to abandon the practice. With the release of webOS 1.2 for the Pre, Palm has grudgingly abandoned its fixation with iTunes and opted for Amazon in its stead. Users can now download their favorite tracks from the Amazon MP3 store using either WiFi or WAN. But iTunes aficionados, who own a Pre for some reason, can use third-party alternatives like double Twist and iTunes Agent to enable iTunes sync on their own.
With a two-year service agreement, you can already snag a Palm Pre for just $80 from Walmart, which we said was the price to beat. Well guess what? Someone beat it. With a coupon code and a cashback request, LetsTalk.com and PhoneCashBack.net have collaborated to offer the Pre for free, but you have to act fast.
Here's how you can get it:
Use this link to head over to LetsTalk and buy a Pre (you have to use that link for this to work).
During checkout, punch in coupon code 25RAFPCVER1 to knock the price down to $54.99 after mail-in-rebate. You'll also receive an accessory bundle (car charger, screen protector, Bluetooth headset, and clear case).
Use this link to fill out PhoneCashBack.net's 'Sprint Cashback' request form and they'll send you a check for $54.99!
PhoneCashBack.net promises to "get your cashback out to you before the mail-in-rebates arrive," but you have to submit your request by 5PM PST on September 30.
Anyone intend to jump on this? Hit the jump and tell us!
Trying to compete with a $99 iPhone is no easy task, but it is even harder when you’re more expensive than the competition. Palm was recently able to bridge the gap by reducing the price to $99 on Amazon, but Wal-Mart is obviously looking to sell a boat load of Pre’s by offering them for a mere $79.99 with a two year contract. Unfortunately this price can only be reached using the ever so sneaky mail in rebate approach, but if you’re on the market for a Palm Pre, it looks like Wal-Mart has the price to beat.
It will be interesting to see how pricing changes on the Pixi given how inexpensive its bigger brother now is.Is this the price you’ve been waiting for?
Representing sibling rivalry at its best, the new Palm Pixi retains much of the same functionality as its bigger brother (Palm Pre) in a smaller form factor and lighter design, the latter of which is partially attributable to not having to slide out a keyboard.
Built around the Qualcomm MSM7627 chipset, the Pixi boasts two ARM cores -- 1.6GHz applications processor with floating point unit and L2 cache, and a 400MHz modem processor -- integrated into a single chip, support for both CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev. A and UMTS HSDPA 7.2Mbps/USUPA 5.76Mbps, a 320MHz application DSP for multimedia supporting full 30fps WVGA encode/decode, 200MHz hardware-accelerated 3D graphics core with support for Open GL 2.0, a high-res camera, integrated GPS, and more.
In other words, it's a worthy successor to the bigger and somewhat more powerful Pre. Gizmodo, who has logged in some hands-on time with the Pixi, notes that "there wasn't a huge difference in speed between the two devices," though you'll have to make do without WiFi and 80 less pixels on the smaller display.