iPhone: Heading Down Razr's Path?

A reader recently made an interesting point: The reason that Motorola's legendary Razr crashed and burned was that the company and its carrier clients have quickly discounted the popular device. By 2007, Americans could get the Razr for free, and it became the most widely held phone in the country. Very soon after that, no one wanted to buy the Razr, the phone that everyone else had. Could the iPhone be heading down the same path?

In response to my recent iPhone story , a reader made an interesting point: The reason that Motorola’s legendary Razr eventually crashed and burned was that the company and its carrier clients have quickly discounted the device. By 2006, Americans could get the Razr for free, and it soon became the most widely held phone in the country. Very soon after that, no one wanted to own the Razr, the phone that everyone else had. Could the iPhone be heading down the same path?

Possibly: AT&T and international carriers have begun to lower the iPhone’s price. Some carriers in Europe already offer the phone to their subscribers for free. AT&T has made the new iPhone available for $199 with a two-year contract. Demand for the device is sure to spike as a result. But Apple needs to make sure it doesn’t spike too much — that the iPhone doesn’t turn from a status symbol into the next Razr, and fast.

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