Best Buy briefly sells Palm Pre for $US99 - oops!

There were some happy shoppers coming out of Best Buy over the weekend after the big box retailer slashed the price of the Palm Pre by fifty percent

There were some happy shoppers coming out of Best Buy over the weekend after the big box retailer slashed the price of the Palm Pre by fifty percent. The only problem was it may have been a mistake, as other Palm Pre retail outlets including the Sprint Store did not drop their prices.

After news of the mixup broke yesterday on PreCentral.net, many blog readers stormed their local Best Buy locations to grab a Pre for $US99 with a 2-year contract, instead of the original $US199 price. But the Pre spree didn't last long, as John Bernier of Best Buy's Twelp Force--the retail chain's customer-service team on Twitter--let the world know the new Pre pricing was an accident.

"Actually, [the Palm Pre is] $US199, we corrected an unintentional pricing error," Bernier said in one of his many tweets discussing the Pre issue. Even though the new price tag may have been an error, the big box retailer still delivered price-dropping joy to many happy Pre fans. Over on Pre Central.net, commenter d2globalinc claims to have received a credit of $US214 after taking back two Palm Pres purchased at Best Buy within the last thirty days. Both FV and JG on CrunchGear said they received a similar rebate on Sunday as a result of Best Buy's Palm Pre sleeper sale.

But the happiest people may have been those able to get their hands on a cheap Pre after months of lusting after the device. MERGATROYDER on PreCentral claimed to get the last available Pre at the commenter's local Best Buy, paying just $US144 plus some reward points for the device, screen protector and case. JKOnTheRun readers Shawn and Justine also claimed to have picked up Palm's iPhone killer at the bargain basement price.

Amid the joys there were also moments of outrage from some who had already bought their Pre's from other retailers. While not exactly parallels, the Best Buy price mix-up is a reminder of a similar situation with the original iPhone. Apple's wonder device was launched on June 29, 2007, but just over two months later, on September 5, Apple announced it was dropping the iPhone's price from $US599 to $US399. Apple's announcement--while spurring sales towards one million iPhones sold just five days later--enraged early iPhone adopters who were now out $US200 compared to those who waited a few months. In fact, user anger got so loud that Steve Jobs was forced to issue an open letter offering early iPhone adopters a $US100 rebate as compensation.

The Best Buy situation is different since the retailer claims the fifty-percent drop in price was a simple human error. But I'm not so sure. Could it be this price cut was originally planned for late summer or early fall to spur sales into the back-to-school and Holiday seasons, just as Apple did two years ago? A $US99 price tag may also make more sense since, feature-for-feature, it puts the Pre against the more comparable iPhone 3G instead of the 3GS, as PC World contributing editor Harry McCracken points out on Technologizer.

So what do you say? Did Best Buy jump the gun on an upcoming price drop or was this really just a simple mistake?

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags PalmPalm PresmartphonesBest Buy

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?