Best Buys HTC Thunderbolt pricing different than Verizons
The HTC Thunderbolt has received quite a bit of attention in recent weeks and mainly for the wrong reasons. As the first 4G LTE device on Big Red, it seems this device should be getting lots of attention in a positive light. We’ve seen features come and go, no real floor presence at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, and the confusing exclusivity agreement with Best Buy all within a relatively short amount of time. As if the lack of positive media wasn’t enough, it seems every day we find a new bit of information about the price.Is it $249 on contract? $749 off contract? What about $299 on contract? Will these also be Verizon’s prices? According to a recent tipster, perhaps not.What you’re seeing above is an edited screenshot from a Verizon inventory system that was sent to us. As you can clearly see the MSRP for this device is different than the price tag we’re seeing over at Best Buy, and not by a little bit either. Apply the $100 markup in the field next to the price, and you see a price that falls in line much closer with what you see a traditional smartphone selling for (with a contract-free purchase). [Update: Image removed]Just to be clear, this document says that Verizon stores can get the Thunderbolt for $4xx and charge no less than $5xx off contract. Rumors have it that Best Buy will charge either $249 or $299 for the handset with an agreement, and $749 off contract.Why such a staggering difference in price? Is part of the Best Buy exclusive an attempt to try out their new trade-in program, which encourages customers to bring back old electronics and trade them in for half what they were originally purchased for? Is this price difference of caused Verizon to be less aggressive in their pushing of the “next big thing”, the first 4G LTE device on the network?As this is an unreleased device, Verizon representatives were not available to comment on this topic, though I expect we will see more information in the upcoming weeks as Verizon is able to offer this device in their stores.