Why Verizon 4G Smartphone Prices Keep Falling

It could be the tiered data, it could be the issues or it could the Motorola Droid Bionic that is pushing people away but whatever the case may be, prices on Verizon’s 4G LTE smartphones continue to fall and this time it’s over at mobile retailer Wirefly who is offering the HTC ThunderBolt for $99 and the LG Revolution for $100.

You can find the offer for the HTC ThunderBolt here and the LG Revolution here. But I should warn you, you’re probably making a big mistake if you decide to jump on these offers. You see, there are reasons why these phones are dropping in price and many of you have been wondering why you keep seeing them on sales, especially when Verizon continues to offer them for over $200.

Here are some reasons why Verizon’s 4G smartphones are dirt cheap just months after being released.

The Phones Aren’t Very Good

HTC ThunderBolt

As I’ve stated many times over, Verizon’s current crop of 4G LTE phones aren’t compelling people and when people aren’t compelled, they don’t buy. Yes, the HTC ThunderBolt may have sold well at the start, but I have a pretty good feeling that sales have slowed down. And why has that happened? Well, have a look here and see how many ThunderBolt owners are dissatisfied with their device. I have a feeling the world is getting around.

And how about the other phones, the Droid Charge and the LG Revolution? The Droid Charge’s bungled release probably sent people running for the hills (even though we gave it a solid review) and the LG Revolution is essentially a mid-range (at best) smartphone with 4G speeds.

4G LTE Isn’t The Only Option

Droid X2

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Not everyone needs a 4G LTE smartphone. In fact, if I had a gun to my head right now and I was forced to choose between a 4G phone on Verizon or a 3G flavored phone, I’d choose 3G. The network is young, it has issues and there really aren’t that many things that can take advantage of the speeds right now. You might argue otherwise but a basic need of mine would be Netflix and right now, it’s not officially available on any of these phones and it’s things like that that make it an extremely hard sell for regular users.

In addition, Sprint offers unlimited data with its 4G WiMax network and the very likable HTC EVO 3D just came out. And I should also mention that T-Mobile has cheap 4G HSPA+ plans and has the HTC Sensation 4G available which in my eyes is one of the, if not the best Android phone available.

I’ve used all three of  Verizon’s 4G phones, Verizon’s 3G devices, the Sensation 4G, and the HTC EVO 3D and I have to say, I’d buy the Motorola Droid X2, Sensation 4G and HTC EVO 3D right now over anything Android if not for one thing…

The Motorola Droid Bionic

Droid Bionic

Verizon’s upcoming dual-core monster, the Motorola Droid Bionic, is another big reason why retailers are continually hosting sales on Verizon’s 4G phones. Why? Because it’s the phone that you should be waiting for. It’s the 4G LTE phone that you should have bought.  And it’s the phone that consumers who have done their research will be waiting for.

It’s also the phone that I am recommending to my friends, if they’re currently on Verizon. If they’re not, they are heading elsewhere right now because of the new…

Tiered Data Plans

Verizon

This is a relatively new reason and I think it’s going to have a very strong impact on sales. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see 4G LTE smartphone prices dip to their lowest points at some point in mid-to-late July directly as a result of Verizon’s new data plans.

With the amount of complaining and anger towards these plans, people are scared to sign up with Big Red right now. I personally know of a few people that are going to be signing up with Sprint as a result of these new plans.

I have tried to be a voice of peace through all of this because I use my phone a lot but rarely do I breach 2GB’s of data in a single month. But I have a feeling that’s going to be a hard thing to do when I get the blazing fast Motorola Droid Bionic that may or may not have an OMAP4 processor that allows me to stream Netflix in HD.

The iPhone

iPhone 5

The iPhone 4 is still selling well on AT&T and while sales have apparently slowed on Verizon, it’s still competition for these 4G LTE smartphones. And that’s not the only iPhone device hurting 4G LTE sales.

The iPhone 5 is definitely on the way for both AT&T and Verizon and throw in those Sprint and T-Mobile iPhone rumors and you get consumers that are going to be waiting to see how both of those pan out. And by the time they’re done waiting, the Droid Bionic will be released and the three current phones will be an afterthought.

All that said, I would not be surprised if we see one or more of these phones, the HTC ThunderBolt, the LG Revolution, and the Samsung Droid Charge become free at some point during July. Of course, Verizon will continue to masquerade them around as $200+ phones but you know better then to buy from them. Don’t you? So, keep all of this in mind when you see another one of those “deals” that retailers are having for these LTE phones.

  

Comments

  1. Brian James says

    I picked up Verizon service and bought an HTC ThunderBolt on 7/6 so I could lock in the unlimited data plan that disappeared on 7/7. Best Buy gives me thirty days to trade up to another phone. I’m hoping Best Buy gets the Bionic before 8/5, but that seems unlikely.

    I have no desire to own this ThunderBolt, so I’ll probably list it on eBay and buy a Bionic at full price. :(

    • Ton I says

      @ Brian James.  Check again with Best Buy.  I spoke to them yesterday (the day the data plans changed) and they said they really only have 14 day return policy for Verizon phones b/c they have to match Verizon’s 14 day policy.  They have 30 days for others, but not Verizon.  Please confirm.  I wouldn’t want you to make a decision based on bad information

  2. Nick Nienaber says

    I guess I’m one of the lucky ones, I’ve had my thunderbolt since launch and I have no issues with it – battery life could, of course, be a lot better, but I still average about 8 hours of normal use before it needs charging. And I don’t have the reboot issue.

    So for me, the Thunderbolt is a fantastic phone!

    That said, if Verizon gets their act together and offers some kind of buyback or discounted upgrade for Thunderbolt owners (without forcing us to change to one of the new tiered data contracts) I’d strongly consider taking advantage…not because I don’t like my phone, but who doesn’t like even newer phones?

  3. Greekboy says

    Check out YouTube by greekthuglife69 to see how Verizon treats their workers u already know how they treat u

  4. MadMax8600 says

    I have the Droid Charge and love it.  And 4G LTE is definitely significantly better than 3G.  I travel for business a lot and I get 4G LTE coverage in every major city I’ve been to.  My 3G hotspot is painful in comparison and as such I have cancelled it.  I was originally waiting for the Bionic back in March but after repeated delays I bought the Charge and am glad I did.  I purchased at Costco for $249 then got a $70 rebate 29 days later when they dropped the price.

    Of course some of these phones, if not all, will eventually be offered for free because there will always be newer and fancier phones coming out but having had my Charge for 2 months, I would definitely buy it again.

  5. Ton I says

    @ Brian James.  Check again with Best Buy.  I spoke to them yesterday (the day the data plans changed) and they said they really only have 14 day return policy for Verizon phones b/c they have to match Verizon’s 14 day policy.  They have 30 days for others, but not Verizon.  Please confirm.  I wouldn’t want you to make a decision based on bad information

  6. furrito says

    In this economy, who could complain about a free phone? As with any phone it will get trumped by something better within months. just like that bionic you will wait for, it will be offered for free by xmas. Vicious circle, this industry is.

  7. Gina Kennelly says

    I will be getting the Droid Bionic that I have been waiting for since April 4th. That is the date I became eligible to upgrade and was so disappointed when it wasn’t available when it was suppose to be. However, I will be excited to get it with all the new enhancements, whatever they be, also the new look. Woo Hoo! Looks like I’ll get it soon!

  8. Mackerdude says

    Tbolt after the latest update is solid for me, plus I love HTC’s Sense interface. The Droid Bionic looks interesting, but I bet Moto’s skin makes it slow and ugly, even though it should be a great performer. Also, what’s the deal with iPhone at Verizon? Every time I’m in a store, no one is looking at them. Store employees probably have to dust them at least once a week.

  9. Ajlincoln says

    I’ve had Thunderbolt for three months and it is awesome. My wife has a Charge and that is great as well. I’ve had the original Moto Droid and a Droid X and the HTC is much better quality and the Sense overlay is easy to use. Apple makes nice devices but all of their proprietary crap with ITunes is absurd. I bought an Ipad 2 and it wouldn’t even boot up until I synced it. I wound up returning it and bought an Acer Iconia tablet which is MUCH better. Droid is awesome and the Tbolt and Charge outperform iPhones all day long.

  10. Jasonftwayne says

    The reason why the Thunderbolt is slowing down in sales is because that’s how it works. The first couple months of course it’s going to sale more than 6 months later. Many People on Verizon own this phone so sales slow down. This is the same with iPhone or anything else. The reason the other phones are dropping in price because Verizon want to sign up more customers and get more People on it’s new network and one day 3G will be obsolete. The reason iPhone keeps it’s steady price for so long because it’s it’s an iPhone the first the original the famous and People will buy just because Apples name is on it alone. It’s a great phone yes.

    You say the 4G LTE network is young and has issues? It’s young, but what issues are you talking about? I haven’t had any issues on 4G LTE. The only issue I ever hear about it is people complaining they don’t have 4G LTE where they live yet. The People like myself who do have 4G LTE aren’t complaining, why would we?  It’s reliable and works it’s Verizon duh. Sure nothing is perfect and sometimes mobile carriers need to do maintenance on networks from time to time that’s nature of the beast. It blows away all other carriers in reliability and in speed. 4G LTE you rock!!! and locked in to unlimited data on my contract, thanks for giving me a heads up Verizon taking care of it’s older customers.

    The Thunderbolt is a great phone, yes it does have it’s problems like anything else. I have owned many smartphones and the Tbolt is the best one I have owned by far. Alot of People cry about every little thing and expect a little to much out of their phone is the problem. Yes some report the phone gets very warm   my Samsung Fascinate had the same problem and with extended use my iPhone 3GS got very warm. It’s an advanced electronic device basically a handheld computer that many People are using day in and day out. You leave phone in hot car, in your pocket, you are watching youtube videos, facebook, etc etc it’s going to get warm. The phone isn’t perfect, but all that it does really well far exceed it’s imperfections. I love the screen size and how fast it is it’s a powerhouse You have to realize all of the People who own this phone and that are OCD and expect it to be perfect. And many probably can’t keep their grubby little fingers off the thing all day. Verizon will replace your phone if you have any problems so why cry?
     
    I did do my research and got my Thunderbolt on unlimited data. I wouldn’t of held out for the Motorola Droid Bionic with it’s monster dual core that the experts are waiting for. Dual core isn’t really going to make that much difference on a smartphone at this point. I don’t do a bunch of things at once on my phone. I never really liked Motorola for one and they don’t seem capable of putting out a top of the line smartphone they are second rate and always behind the leaders. Smartphones keep getting better and better I don’t need research to realize this. What you say is like me saying don’t buy this Laptop computer because 7 months from now something better will be out. 

    I will sum up what I think.,…

    You say the Revolution is a mid grade smartphone nothing special, I don’t disagree at all it reminds me of a Motorola phone and Motorola had a few reliable good phones like the Droid X it’s nothing special and pretty mid grade as well. If you compare the Droid Bionic to older Smartphones it’s going to have more impressive stats on paper, but like everything else HTC, Samsung will come out with something and roll right over it. I don’t have to have the latest phone in my pocket at all times, that would get expensive really fast. I just need a good phone now until im eligible for that new phone in 2 years from now. A friend of mine rocked the HTC incredible for two years and the phone served it purpose. I don’t care if another phone is superior to the one I currently own because the one I currently own does what I want it to from day one and does what I want it to before I upgrade it.  Everybody complained about the Thunderbolt battery life, I’m glad because the extended battery option is awesome. 4G LTE speeds with very long battery makes me feel spoiled. I love the 4.3 screen I don’t think I could ever go back to a 3.5 or even 4 inch screen. HTC sense is the best and I love all that it does. I’m blown away by all that this phone does and it even has a kickstand I mean how awesome is that. Sure HTC messed up and put the charge port on the same side  you need the kickstand while plugged in. I agree it’s goofy, but again nothing is perfect. Most of the time I go to friends house to show them a video and don’t have my charger anyway. With the extended battery the phone doesn’t need to make love to the charger very often anyway.

  11. Jasonftwayne says

    You have hundreds of thousands of these Smartphones in Peoples hands that use the phone day in an day out you’re going to hear about problems. A smartphone is a computer and fairly new technology. The Thunderbolt is the first phone to be on a carrier that offers speeds that are running circles around all others fastest 4G networks. The screen is big, the 4G LTE network uses more juice. The Thunderbolt is more open than lets say an iPhone that runs slower with no flash. All and all I think HTC did a really nice job with this phone and you can’t expect every single unit made to work 100% perfect for every single person who owns it. I still have my first Tbolt I haven’t needed it replaced and I got it only 3 weeks after it’s launch date. Sure some minor bugs need worked out, but I can live with that. People aren’t perfect so why would a phone be any different? I’m sure some of the units the screens stop working or glitch, it overheats or just stops working all together. Have it replaced problem solved. I have a car that had a recall so I took it in and got it fixed for free problem solved. You have a phone that has a problem have it replaced for free problem solved. Those who have had 6 Tbolts have really bad luck or don’t know how to use the phone. I know people use phones differently and some don’t understand how the phone works. Some have every damn service they can possibly have running and updating in background, listening to music on it while surfing the internet and wonder why the battery sucks. It’s all about what you want from the phone and how you use it. If you expect a little to much from it well something will have to give.

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