If you live in the UK and are willing to sign a two-year contract for a data plan that costs 35 pounds a month–that’s about $55 to us yanks–you can get Dell’s Streak superphone/tiny tablet for free. (The wireless carrier is O2, which seems to specialize in free phones: It’ll even give you an iPhone if you commit to a pricey enough plan.)
Assuming the Streak appeals to you, it’s a tempting offer; I first heard about it a few weeks ago, when I asked a Dell representative what the device might cost in the US. He mentioned the UK deal and said that the Streak was a hit.
Dell finally announced stateside availability and pricing for the Streak today. It’ll go on sale on Thursday. AT&T is the carrier. And if you sign up for a two-year contract, you’ll pay $299.99. Sans contract, the Streak will be $549.99.
It’s not hard to do the math on how AT&T probably came up with the $299.99 subsidized price: $199 is pretty much the standard price for a smartphone with 16GB of storage (which the Streak has) or thereabouts. The Streak’s 5″ screen takes it beyond mundane smartphone status into tablet territory, an advantage that AT&T presumably thinks some people will pay a $100 premium for.
Some will, I’m sure. But it would have been fun to see how the Streak would have fared here if it had shipped at the most irresistible price of all: $0. I’ll be curious to see if it follows the pattern of the original Droid, the Palm Pre, and other phones that have become available for thirty bucks or so within a few months of their release.
So would you buy a Streak for $550 or $300–or any price at all?