As part of our review of the Google Nexus 4, one of a game-changers we noted was its seemingly impossible $299 price for the 8GB model ($349 for the 16GB model). With a beautiful 1280×768 IPS Retina-quality display, insanely fast Qualcomm s4 Krait chipset with 2GB of RAM, 8 megapixel cameras and beautiful design, it is clearly a high end flagship phone.
Phones with those specs typically run in the $500-$700 range unsubsidized and the lack of a LTE chip in the Nexus 4 isn’t likely to drop the price down too terribly much. Certainly not cut it in half. Could Google be throwing in a few bucks to make this phone cheaper? Certainly the Galaxy Nexus before it was a bargain at $349 but it had a significantly cheaper pentile display, less RAM, and an older generation chipset with a midrange 5 megapixel camera.
It isn’t easy to find non-subsidized prices in the US phone market but low-price prepaid carrier Virgin does offer phones at retail prices. Have a look at their higher end Android phones:
The Motorola Triumph is an over a year old 4-inch single core phone that got lackluster reviews. It currently sells for $279.99 unsubsidized. The $299.99 HTC EVO V is a rebrand of the EVO 3D which is almost two years old and was discontinued from Sprint when it moved away from WiMAX almost a year ago. Both of these phones are in a whole other league (Busch) than the Nexus 4.
T-Mobile, which will also sell the Nexus 4 on its website and at its stores, will offer the device in the following configurations:
- Paired with a qualifying T-Mobile Value voice and data plan and two year service agreement, the Nexus 4 will cost an out-of-pocket down payment of $199.99 with 20 equal monthly payments of $15 per month via T-Mobile’s Equipment Installment Plan (EIP). The Value plan paired with EIP is offered at T-Mobile retail stores.
- Customers can also purchase the Nexus 4 at T-Mobile retail stores and online for $199.99 (after a $50 Mail in Rebate) qualifying T-Mobile Classic voice and data plan and two year service agreement.
The $199 + $300 in monthly payments comes out to $500 for the same phone Google is offering for $350. The $199 with two year plan is the same price that other high end phones like the Galaxy S3 or even iPhone 5 cost on other carriers. That seems to imply that T-Mobile isn’t getting the Nexus 4 for the same $299 price…or they are adding a serious margin.
What tipped me off to the disparity wasn’t just T-Mobile, however… expand full story