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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonesBest BuyPalmPalm Pre

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

Essentials

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?