amazon_store_logo_2011.jpgWith the big news that Amazon has put a great range of smartphones (except iPhones) on sale for just a cent on a two-year contract, others are slashing and burning, depending on need.

Marketing Willpower or Neediness?

Amazon didn't have to put a whole bunch of recent model smartphones like the Droid Incredible 2 or the ThunderBolt 4G on-sale for just one cent, but they have because they can. Amazon Wireless is in a powerful position where it can happily rake in its cut of the monthly contract rather than rely on the sale of the handset.

Also playing from a position of strength is Apple, offering up to US$ 41 off the iPad2 and US$ 21 off the new iPod touch on its Black Friday event alongside its regular Mac special offers ($101 off most models). Apple doesn't have to cut prices, but is looking to tempt those who want to at least feel like they are getting a bargain, even if they don't need it.

Apple's one-day-only sale should be a big hit

At the other end of the scale we have the likes of BlackBerry, offering its PlayBook at US$ 300 off, starting at US$ 199 in a bid to compete with the Kindle Fire and other cut-price Android tablets. There are also offers on its BlackBerry phones to try and goose those sales and reverse its fortunes, as we enter turkey season.

Looking for a Bargain

While this is all good news for buyers, most recent smartphone owners simply don't need an upgrade and will be looking for better features rather than just a slightly better phone. If they really need a new mobile, those not hampered by their contract expiry date have a great range of options.

And, as we've cleared the recent main launches, except the Galaxy Nexus, there's little of the hold-off-for-a-while vibe that damaged Apple's sales as potential buyers waited for the iPhone 5. The telcos are responding with their own offers, so shop around for your ideal device and contract.

The bargains continue when Black Friday gives over to Cyber Monday. Amazon will continue offering big deals on gadgets and home entertainment kit with $249 off a Nokia N8, $100 off an Xbox bundle and other stores with equally massive offers.