The Palm Pre's slick new software and cool design may make it the first true iPhone challenger on the market, but the competitively priced service plans from Sprint Nextel make the device an even more compelling alternative for frugal cellphone subscribers.
In terms of features, the Pre matches the iPhone on most bells and whistles . And it even has a few new capabilities not seen on the iPhone, such as an actual QWERTY keypad and the ability to have multiple applications open at once.
But for financially savvy shoppers, the Pre on Sprint's 3G network offers a value proposition that may just be enough to tip the scale when deciding between smartphones.
In terms of the upfront cost of the devices, the iPhone and the Pre are the same. The 8GB iPhone 3G costs $200, and so does the Pre with a $100 mail-in rebate. But it's really the service contract from Sprint that sets the Pre apart from the iPhone from a cost perspective.
"Feature for feature these phones are very comparable," said Peter Pham, CEO of Billshrink.com, a Web site that helps consumers cut waste out of their monthly bills. "But when you look at the total cost of ownership, the Pre on Sprint's network offers better value for many consumers."
Here's a breakdown comparing the two service plans:… Read more