The argument used to be that carriers' higher pricing for smartphone data plans were what kept them out of the low end, regardless of the upfront on-contract cost -- but now that T-Mobile has rolled out a 200MB / $10 package
, phones like the Comet -- a T-Mobile branded version of the Huawei Ideos
announced at IFA -- might actually pose a serious threat to the livelihoods of dumbphones everywhere. Why's that? Well, the carrier will be charging a ridiculously low $9.99 on contract after $50 rebate for it, featuring 7.2Mbps HSPA, FM radio, integrated Swype
, microSD expansion up to 32GB, and 802.11b / g / n atop Froyo
; in fact, the only immediately-obvious downside to it is that it's got just a 2.8-inch QVGA display. As you might recall, Huawei worked closely with Google to design the Ideos as an Android device for the masses, and we came away with a pretty positive impression with it when we checked it out at IFA -- so we're bullish that this thing is going to make some waves in its Comet guise. It launches on November 3 -- and you'll be able to get it in prepaid guise through some third-party retailers for "less than $200."