September 20, 2014

G1's Going for Under $100... But Why?

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Sometimes we hold off publishing certain articles on AndroidGuys simply because know that it would be redundant to post something that’s clearly made its way around the net.  Such is the case with the stories making their way around other Android and mobile gadget sites.  In case you haven’t heard, the T-Mobile G1 is on sale for $97.99 at Amazon right now. That’s over half off the normal selling price!

To be clear, it’s the black edition only.  It’s unknown why the bronze and white models haven’t been given the deep discount, or if there are plans to do so.  Rob at Phandroid told us today about Costco’s even better deal of $80 handsets.  Is this the beginning of a total G1 liquidation or are these isolated incidents?  We could wait and see, but isn’t it more fun to speculate and debate?

There are a handful of reasons as to why the G1 is going for this price, all of which are unconfirmed. Let’s take a look at the three most obvious reasons…

  • The G2 is right around the corner
  • The black model is not selling as well compared to the others
  • These vendors are clearing out their own stock and this has nothing to do with the G1 as a whole

The G2 is right around the corner – CTIA is coming up and the rumor mill is starting again.  Folks are starting to expect T-Mobile to announce the G2, or US version of the HTC Magic.  Although it would make sense to see a new Android handset from T-Mobile, it’s not guaranteed.  One could hope that after 6 months that we’re ready to get our second device from the carrier.

The black model is not selling as well compared to the others – When the G1 was announced and preorders became available, the hottest color seemed to be white. In fact, for a while, the white was unavailable to order.  Now I haven’t seen any G1′s in my town, save for one the first week of launch so I can’t say what is popular in your neck of the woods.  The one G1 owner I ran into had a black one and he said he picked it because “they were out of white and the copper one just didn’t do it for me.”

Maybe T-Mobile and HTC ordered up way more black models than other colors.  After all, black is the new black.  It wouldn’t surprise me if they put out twice as many of the black G1′s as the other colors.  So, let’s assume it is selling just as well.  They still would have to move twice as many overall.

These vendors are clearing out their own stock and this has nothing to do with the G1 as a whole - This is me throwing darts, but perhaps a certain time frame has passed and outlets now have the ability to subsidize costs and/or make up their own pricing.  Places like Costco might be sitting on an awful lot of phones and looking to dump them quicker.  Their coupon doesn’t say anything about the colors, so maybe they just want to move through all of them.


On the other hand, maybe Amazon and Costco have a strong sense that a new phone is right around the corner.  Maybe their purchasing agents know something we don’t.  Maybe a little birdy told them something about G2′s.

What do you readers think?  Is there a particular reason that the G1 is selling for such a low price all of a sudden?  Do you expect the trend to continue?  Leave us your opinion in the comments below.

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