Feeds

Supermarket price wars: mobiles, the sequel

But it's all a big game of bluff and value-for-consumer guff

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Like a bunch of kids in a playground, the supermarkets just can't stop winding each other up. Now Tesco has taken the argy-bargy to the hopscotch patch, aka the pre-paid mobile market. The market leader will cut £20 off One2One models, charging what it claims is one of the lowest prices in Britiain - £49.99. All the others are expected to get the hump and follow suit so they don't miss out on the Christmas rush - when almost two-fifths of annual sales are made. But hang on. What a strange sense of deja vu. Why, wasn't it just this summer that a similar thing happened? Yes, it was August. And... Blimey! It was Tesco cutting One2One phones to a new super low of £49.99. Then all the boys joined the fun and cut their prices too. It all went awry three weeks later though when party-poopers BTCellnet and Vodafone told them to stop because it was ruining their profit predictions. The fact is that the supermarkets play a non-stop game of price cuts that are nothing more than advertising and can be easily be budgeted for. But have a look at that product's price when the next promotion is in full swing. Consumers are thus kept in a permanent frenzy and left with the feeling that supermarkets are great value for money when the simple fact is that we get ripped off each and every weekend. It is not clear whether Tesco has cut a special deal or will be making a loss on each sale, but if it manages to sell hundreds of phones to technically illiterate consumers it can rely on the luddite mentality for profitable repeat sales. ® Related stories: Asda lashes mobile carriers for price hikes Mobile war spreads to supermarkets

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.