Ahead of iPhone, Heavy Mobile Music Bargains Emerge

The iPhone is preparing to land next month, and anticipation continues to mount.

But early buyers will be faced with aggressive price tags, and the device will fly far from the average budget.  The high-end splash is most likely part of a far broader product plan, one that will include less expensive iPhone models in the future.  But summertime music fans will mostly be left ogling, and hoping for a break at Christmastime.

Meanwhile, a number of US-based carriers are tossing cut-rate deals on mobile music devices, a development that hardly seems coincidental.  Just recently, Verizon Wireless triggered a two-for-one deal on its music-focused LG Chocolate, a device that now comes in assorted flavors like mint and cherry.   The duo is available for $99.99 with a two-year contract, and takers can place both phones on the same account.

Elsewhere, Sprint is also offering cut-rate bargains.  The company is positioning its music-focused Fusic device, also from LG, for $9.99 with a two-year contract for online purchasers.  The device is geared towards music lovers, and like the Chocolate comes packaged with iPod-like controls and earphones.  Like the Verizon offer, the discount requires a number of rebates and some fine print, though both carriers are handily beating iPhone price points that soar past $500.

Other discounted Sprint devices include the Samsung Upstage, a device that features screens front and back.  The Upstage is available for $99.99 with various rebates and a two-year commitment.  Earlier, Sprint dropped the price on its OTA, full-track downloads to 99-cents, though takers will still be forced to pay monthly Power Vision fees.