AT&T Inc (T), the second-largest U.S. mobile-phone carrier, has slashed the price of Research In Motion’s (RIMM) BlackBerry Torch smartphone, down to $99.99 ahead of the holiday buying season. AT&T’s new $99.99 price requires a two-year service plan with the carrier. Without the two-year contract, AT&T sells the phone for $499.99.
AT&T spokeswoman Kate Tellier said the price cut is part of a holiday promotion for the BlackBerry Torch. Tellier declined to comment as to whether or not the price cut would remain in place after the holiday season is over.
“Promotional pricing for wireless devices, especially in the holiday season is business-as-usual for AT&T and other carriers,” Tellier said in a statement. “We are pleased with consumer and business customer response to the BlackBerry Torch and we’re excited for the opportunity to offer it at such a compelling price point in time for the holiday.”
AT&T has decided to slash the price of the BlackBerry Torch smartphone to $99.99 on November 7, as it ushers in three devices running on Microsoft’s Phone 7 operating system ahead of the holiday buying season.
Indirect retailers such as Amazon.com (AMZN) sell the phone for as little as 1 cent. Best Buy (BBY) sells the phone for $149.99 on a two-year contract and Firefly.com offers it for $29.99.
The price cut doesn’t necessarily mean that RIM will get less money for each Torch it sells. Carriers typically subsidize the price of mobile phones to help lure customers into signing multiyear service contracts. The Torch is RIM’s first device to combine a touch screen with a full Qwerty keyboard.