Leaked documents from Android Central and Droid-Life suggests Verizon may be removing its mail-in-rebates for select smartphone devices. The internal screen grab (shown below) hints that smartphones net priced above $150 will have no longer come with rebates, while smartphones net priced $149.99 and below with have $50 will continue to use rebates. If this pans out, this policy change will affect most of Verizon’s high-end handsets as shown above. It may also affect upcoming handsets including the DROID Bionic and some of the upcoming 4G LTE handsets such as the HTC Thunderbolt and the LG Revolution.
This policy mimics the no-rebate promotion offered at Best Buy Mobile. Best Buy Mobile has sold a lot of handsets to people who prefer not to deal with the hassle of mail-in-rebates. The electronics retailer offers its phones with the rebate taken off at the register, enabling customers to walk out the door with a discounted handset. If this new policy goes into effect at Verizon, Best Buy will lose its competitive edge among savvy shoppers who will buy a handset from the store offering the lowest price.
Handsets without rebates may also entice customers to buy high-end handsets over their low-end counterpart. A customer may choose to pay a little more for a Droid X just so they don’t have to deal with the hassle of a rebate on the LG Ally.
Fingers crossed that Verizon does not use this new policy as a way to boost the final price of a handset. Currently, the DROID Pro is available on Verizon for $279 with a $100 mail-in rebate and a two-year contract. The final price of the handset will be $179 once you wait a few weeks to get your $100 visa card.
If this new policy kicks in, Verizon may decide to offer the handset at $199 without a rebate instead of the current $179. You my pay a little more, but you don’t have to wait with bated breath for your rebate to arrive in the mail.
In the end, we will have to wait and see if these new rebate terms are put into effect by the wireless carrier and how that might affect the final prices of handsets. Let us know what you think about Verizon dropping rebates in the comments.