1000 day whaaaa? Palm attempt to murder their iPhone killer

5 August 2009

If Palm are trying to kill the Palm Pre, they're going about it the right way. That's not to say the Pre isn't a good handset with a decent OS - all the feedback from users so far suggests it's very decent indeed. And as we've discussed in the past, Palm have made the right move in allowing O2 to pick up exclusive distribution rights in the UK - that'll prevent O2 from savaging the Pre to increase sales of the iPhone, which O2 also handle.

Canadian service provider Bell have announced the Pre will launch in the country on August 27th, and is now available to pre-order on a choice of airtime plans. Good news if you're Canadian. And live in Canada. The bad news is this:

If you want a Pre, you have to take out a three year contract - there are no other options currently available. That means having the same handset until the latter half of 2012. To put it in perspective - it might seem the world has been banging on about the iPhone since the Industrial Revolution, but Apple only unveiled the handset two years ago.

Handsets in two years' time will be far more advanced to what's on offer today, never mind three. And what are the odds of any modern handset lasting that long without something going wrong? Would you dare risk your third year without insurance? Signing a two year contract is plenty to make some customers think twice - are Palm really going to let service providers peddle three year plans?

We couldn't hunt down the rogue asterisk attached to the term so perhaps there's a very obvious get-out clause. Hopefully the Pre will stick to the two year deals as offered in the US when it arrives in the UK later this year.

* mathematical nature of headline is entirely incorrect, intended only for promotional purposes

TOPICS:   Mobile


  • Alex
    I totally agree with what you say about 3 year contracts. I thought 18 months was pushing it... On the point about insurance however, are you sure...? A phone (like any other product) has to be fit for purpose. If it's purpose is for use with a 3 year contract, then surely you can reasonably expect it to function correctly for at least that length of time. Any less, and it's up to the supplier to repair or replace the handset. ... No? (I'm no expert in this.) I wonder what the battery life will be like after 3 years...
  • Paul Nikkel EDITOR
    Let's see if it's 3 years in the UK... Canadian mobile contracts are ridiculously long and 3 years is an accepted length for high-end new handsets in Canada. The iPhone is also on a 3 yr plan: http://www.rogers.com/web/link/iPhoneBuyFlow
  • Tickled
    just finished what turned out to be a 27month contract today woohoo, upgraded 3 months before the end of my contract so that got added on, then went travelling for six months so vodafone kindly credited my account with 6 months line rental then extrended my contract for another 6 months (fair enough!) But man couldn't imagine a 36month contract!!
  • Jayme
    Unfortunately when you sign up to a contract, you are agreeing to an airtime agreement. The handset is basically a gift. The iPhone (for example) is available on 18 month and 24 month agreements, however the handset is only covered by a 12 month warranty, Apple will charge you £60 to extend it to 2 years. The Sale of Goods act can cover goods up to 6 years after purchase, but not every product is designed to last that long. I think you would be hard pressed taking a Biro back to WHSmith and trying to get them to replace it when the ink ran out!
  • Mike e.
    "I think you would be hard pressed taking a Biro back to WHSmith and trying to get them to replace it when the ink ran out!" The waranty wouldn't cover componets subject to wear/use so the ink would not be covered, the barrel snapping, however would be under warranty, so go get yourself a new biro dude!
  • Nobby
    That $199.95 price, is that per month, per year or for the three years?
  • Will
    This'll be different in the UK. The mobile phone contracts in the States and Canada are batshit insane compared to over here. Consumers over there will quite happily pay $199 for the phone (that's the "subsidised price"), then $100 dollars A MONTH for the contract. No way would UK consumers stand for that. It's more likely to be a free phone, and £40 a month for 18-24 months.
  • dvdj
    Jayme, the sale of good's act would cover you in this case as all products must be fit for purpose as Alex pointed out. Obviously you wouldn't be covered for when you drop the phone down the shitter whilst trying to text an ex after a night on the piss... That's what insurance is for!
  • Jayme
    The handset has absolutely no connection to your contract with the network. When you sign a contract you are paying for the Airtime Agreement, that includes minutes and messages. The handset would be covered by a warranty, but as I said this warranty could be as little as a year. An iPhone only has a year warranty and until recently Blackberry only offered a year warranty too. If this wasnt within the Sale of Goods Act there is no way they could get away with it. In an article printed on this site a week or so ago, they quoted Orange's Ts and Cs that said ..... 14.1 your Device is not a part of your Contract Your Device and Accessories are acquired by you outside the terms of your Contract.
  • dvdj
    Fit for purpose has nothing to do with the contract length. It just has to last a reasonable amount of time based on the original price of the product. Best example is microwaves. Cheap £50 microwave, if it broke after 18months you couldn't really argue. But if you'd spent £300 on a microwave and it broke after 18months you'd be able to exercise your statutory rights and take it back to the shop for a replacement regardless of "warrenty". Same for the iphone, if it just broke after 18months you could take it back (but not if you dropped it obviously). That's why extended warranties are pretty pointless unless they cover accidental damage.
  • Christopher W.
    Welcome to one of the horrors of being in the Canadian phone market now. No unlimited data plans available from anyone, standard three-year contracts from just about every company, and many phones taking months if not years to appear here. Kind of frustrating in all honesty.
  • Jays
    With the Palm Pre costing the same as the basic iPhone 3Gs when released it aint going to sell, especially when you can buy a more advanced smart phone for less.
  • Jayme
    Fit for purpose also has nothing to do with cost. If you bought a Bentley there is no reason to expect that to last longer than a Mondeo, in fact the opposite is probably true. A reasonable amount of time for a sophiscated piece of electrical equipment (at least in Apple's eyes) is a year. The Sale Of Goods Act does not actually specify what "a reasonable time" is either. This is why manafacturers are able to set warranty periods. After six months from purchase the onus is on the purchaser to prove the goods were inherently faulty.
  • chris
    @jays If the pre isn't gonna sell because you can buy a more advanced smart phone for less then how has the iphone been doin well??
  • Vincent
    This is nothing to be surprised at all to be honest. If you want a high end phone in Canada, it is quite normal to sign a 3 year plan. My friends all think I pay an arm or a leg for the shiny new phones I use when I travel back each year. This article should be about how much better off we are in the UK in terms of getting deals on phones.
  • Paul
    "...the onus is on the purchaser to prove the goods were inherently faulty." Absolutely, this is what people don't understand. Everyone (yes, I'm generalising) quotes the 6 year rule - but I don't think they realise YOU have to appoint and pay an independent qualified party to inspect the goods. They have to find evidence that the fault was inherent from the time of manufacture, rather than just unpredictable mechanical failure. This is not cheap, and if they don't find anything then you would have been better off just replacing it in the first place. This is why a extended breakdown warranty may have value, providing it is reasonably priced. Which they usually aren't - but that's another story.
  • Paul
  • Maddog
    Another crap bitterwallet post Why is it palm's fault for the contract set by Bell I must be bored if I am logging on reading and responding to this carp
  • Bishop
    another pointless comment from another idiot commenter, what planet do you live on exactly? Mobile phone manufacturers all have a say when it comes to MAJOR releases, it's in their interests as much as the phone company!
  • Athena
    As a Canadian in the UK, this is one of the things I can not stand about cellphones in North America: 3 years is a long time to commit to anything. Also, incoming calls aren't free like they are here. I much prefer to pay as you go or take an 18 month contract. Much more reasonable and gives you the option to switch onto other plans and phones or keep the existing one. No idea why it's so ridiculous in NA.

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