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Rollercoaster Krzr, Razr prices highlight vendors’ struggles

A glance at Motorola Inc. Krzr and Razr prices across carriers serves to tell a story about one handset vendor’s product succession plans, as well as the fractured and cutthroat nature of the cellphone retail market.
The Krzr’s prices are all over the map, ranging from $100 at Verizon Wireless and Cingular Wireless L.L.C. to $200 at Sprint Nextel Corp. Alltel Corp. recently dropped the price of its Krzr from $250 to $150, and Leap Wireless International Inc., which doesn’t require a contract and thus, presumably, doesn’t subsidize handsets, sells the Krzr for $350.
Meanwhile, Razr’s are selling at $5 and $45 at Alltel, with others hovering in the $50 vicinity. Leap sells the Razr for $260.
The numbers show that Motorola’s hopes for the Krzr to be a successor to the wildly popular Razr may not immediately pan out, since the Razr continues to sell for much lower prices than the Krzr.
Pricing for both phones also highlights the continuing battles among the nation’s carriers, as each weighs the cost of increased handset subsidies against the potential to lure in additional customers with cheap phones.

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