In the midst of widespread economic unrest, some of the carriers are launching Black Friday deals and products to try to lure in customers.
T-Mobile USA announced today that for the weekend of Nov. 28 to Nov. 30 it will offer the Motorola ZN5 for free after a $100 mail-in rebate and with a two-year contract. AT&T Mobility will offer two of its quick messaging phones, the Pantech Matrix and the Samsung Propel, on a buy-one-get-one-free basis after a mail-in rebate. The phones normally sell for $79.99 after a mail-in rebate and with a two-year contract. Alltel is also launching a phone on Black Friday, the Motorola Hint, a vertical slider phone with a QWERTY keyboard. The phone is selling for $99.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and with a two-year contract.
"Black Friday has traditionally been a big day for retailers," said analyst Avi Greengart of Current Analysis in an interview with FierceWireless. "And we tend to forget that carriers are retailers." What they are selling these days, and this season especially, he added, is convergence devices. "Some people are buying advanced cell phones in lieu of other gadgets," he said, so it is not surprising that the carriers are offering discounts similar to what a retailer such as Best Buy would do on Black Friday.
Greengart said T-Mobile was making a strategic move in highlighting the ZN5, which, with five-megapixel camera, is one of the top camera phones on the market, and something the other carriers cannot really compete with. He also said the AT&T decision was smart because quick-messaging phones are a growing market segment.
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