ESPN Phone Really Is $500

(See update below.)

I alluded in my post yesterday about Sprint’s EV-DO launch that there had been a brief article in the local paper yesterday about the launch of Mobile ESPN, since Austin was one of the 4 markets it soft launched in today. The only notable piece of information was the price of the phone — put at $500. Like Rafat at MocoNews, I found it a little hard to believe, so I went to Best Buy and checked it out for myself today:

espn2.jpg

Yes, it is indeed $500 — I’m hard pressed to think of any other phone sold by a US carrier that’s aimed at the mass market, not the enterprise market, that costs so much. It’s a lot to ask of potential customers, and I’ve got a feeling it’s a deal-killer, despite the saleswoman’s prediction that “everybody’s going to want one for Christmas”.

espn1.jpg

Update: A Mobile ESPN exec emailed Rafat to defend the price, basically saying “well, it’s a nice phone” and that there’s a $100 rebate on it. As I said in comments over there, it’s still markedly more expensive than similarly equipped EV-DO phones from other carriers.

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