If you’ve followed me on twitter or tumblr…or have even heard me talk in person, then you’d know that I had high hopes for the Motorola Atrix 4G. A superphone going to AT&T that features a dual-core processor, front and rear facing cameras, large screen, HD video recording…you name it and the Atrix 4G could deliver it. One of the amazing selling points of the phone besides its amazing features however was the fact that it had multiple docks that would transform your phone into an entertainment center for your TV, and my personal favorite a netbook which runs a full version of Firefox.
I was really excited about this new wave of personal computing phones and their accessory docks…until today. AT&T officially announced the price of the Atrix 4G and the price of the laptop dock. The Atrix 4G on a two-year contract is $199.99 and the price of the laptop dock is $499.99.
<rant>I’m not at all surprised with the price of the phone. That’s the going rate on high-end smartphones…but for a dock to be priced at $499.99 is ridiculous. The dock is nothing more than a shell with a keyboard, screen, and battery. For it to retail at that price is crazy. For that price, a consumer might as well and go out and buy a separate netbook. There is NO advantage to buying that combo. When rumors first circulated on the price of the laptop dock, speculated prices were between $99 - $199, I can understand those prices. It is, in fact, a high-end accessory. But to price an accessory, which is exactly what it is, at the same price as a netbook or a tablet is ridiculous.
The Atrix 4G, in my opinion, was supposed to usher in a new wave of computer devices that would allow people to carry one device and a few accessories and be able to interact with their device in a variety of ways. I can imagine a world in which I carry one device, that is social-entertainment-internet hub, and when I need a larger screen I can dock this device in a tablet. Or if I needed to get some work done, I can dock this device in a laptop. If I want to share video or media I can dock this device into a TV. The Atrix 4G, in my opinion was supposed to be this beginning. However this can only be the future if people are going to buy the products. When they are priced in that manner, customers aren’t going to buy into that ecosystem.</rant>