Here’s a further thought on the fact that Android phones are selling well in part because they’re often way cheaper than iPhones. When iPhone purveyor AT&T finally hopped on the Android bandwagon, its first handset was Motorola’s Backflip:
As of this moment, AT&T wants $99.99 for a Backflip on contract–which is ninety-nine cents more than the cost of a plain-jane iPhone 3G. But if the Backflip appeals to you, here’s a slightly better deal: Amazon has it for a penny. That’s 1/9900th the cost of the iPhone 3G. (Amazon, in case you didn’t know, doesn’t have penny iPhones–and neither does anyone else.)
What do the 9900 subsidized Backflips you could get for the subsidized price of one iPhone 3G look like? Pretty much like this:
(You’re still with me, right?)
Now it’s perfectly true that most of us with $99 aren’t going to spend it on 9900 Backflips. (Signficant fly in the ointment: You’d need to sign up for 19,800 years’ worth of AT&T contracts and $7,128,000 in data costs alone, which would be a bad idea for everyone involved.) It’s also true that not every Android phone is a cheapie–Verizon’s new Droid Incredible is $199 on contract after $100 rebate, or the same price as a 16GB iPhone 3GS.
It’s still a striking contrast between Apple’s business model and the one which has powered the rest of the phone industry for many years. Anyone care to hazard a guess as to when you’ll be able to buy an iPhone–any iPhone–for one cent?