Poor lil’ fella: The Palm Pre is only $10.50 on eBay

Bargain hunters on the look out for a top-of-the-range smartphone at a knockdown price had best head over to eBay, where a brand-new flagship device has just been put up for sale with an astonishing 86 percent discount on the retail price. It’s SIM-free, unlocked, sealed in its box, and there are plenty to go around.

If this sounds too good to be true, sadly, it is. The offer is incredible, or rather it would have been if we were still living in 2009. Why? Well, the catch is, the phone is the late Palm Pre.

A UK retailer, clearly a master of the Dark Arts, has cast a spell to raise legions of long buried smartphones from the grave. Its warehouse brimming with zombified Pre phones, they’re being sold for a mere £50, or about $80, through its eBay clearance store (one American used sale has a “Buy it Now” price of $10.50). That’s considerably less than the original £380/$630 cost, but there’s no telling what these undead phones will do when they get hungry.

Fittingly, the ad reads like an obituary. Palm? Dead. WebOS? Also dead. Palm Synergy, funky multi-tasking “cards,” and slide-out QWERTY keyboards? Dead, dead, and very dead. However, while we snigger about the quaint old phone, it’s easy to forget that more than one of Palm’s ideas built into WebOS were ahead of their time, and are still being hailed as big-new-things today. Extensive gesture controls for example.

So, who’s up for buying a Palm Pre for half the price of a Motorola Moto G? Phone collectors? Stubborn fans who refuse to let Palm and WebOS rest in peace? Hipsters wanting to shun the controlling world of Apple? People who regret not getting one when it was new? If you fall into one of those categories (or, like me, just enjoy messing around with smartphones) and have access to a UK shipping address, you can snap up an 8GB Palm Pre here. Just don’t blame us if it starts growling “Dataaaaaaa,” and all your contacts and emails disappear.

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