The Nokia N8 isn't even in the shops yet, but contract tariffs are already being cut, with £25 per month two-year deals from Vodafone and Orange on Phones4u now giving the Symbian 3 smart phone for free.
Before the N8 shipped, the only way that you could get the smart phone for free was if you signed up for a £35 per month (or more) 18- or 24-month contract. Now Vodafone and Orange -- perhaps responding to lukewarm reviews such as ours -- have decided to offer a black version of the phone for a cheaper monthly tariff, albeit with fewer texts and minutes and a lower monthly Internet allowance.
They're not yet advertised on the Orange and Vodafone websites, but Phones4u is offering the deals online. With Vodafone you can get the N8 free on a two-year contract at £25 per month, including 100 minutes, 500 texts and 500MB of data.
On Orange there's a much better deal on its Dolphin tariff. Again you get a free N8 for £25 per month, but a much better 300 minutes and 3,000 texts. It has the same 500MB mobile Internet allowance, but unlimited email is included with that. There are also unlimited calls to 'magic' numbers you choose.
Both T-Mobile and O2 will also be offering the N8, but the only tariffs we've seen are a £35 per month deal from O2 and £40 per month on T-Mobile, both on the official Nokia N8 homepage.
It does seem a little early for the networks to cut prices for the N8. Vodafone is still to deliver it to customers, with 22 October marked down as the date those who've pre-ordered will receive the smart phone.
It could well be that the networks are experiencing a huge surge of demand for the heavily advertised N8, and are falling over each other to sign people up for long contracts on a hot new phone. We certainly wouldn't be so arrogant as to assume generally mediocre reviews from the tech press would dent sales and cause a price drop.
It's all speculation of course, but what really matters is if you want an N8, you can bag one cheapity cheap, although on a long-term deal. Is it enough to persuade you the N8 is the smart phone you should be carrying for the next two years?