I guess if you come from business, you'd see it differently. In most cases, the carriers are losing money on the equipment. Their profit comes in locking you into a two year contract. Quite frankly, I think the consumer is spoiled by expecting their cutting edge electronics to come at a cheap price tag, and yet be feature-rich and high build quality.
$299 is on par with the capability of the handset and other high end smartphones.
I totally agree that the iPhone is way over priced too. I would argue that the phone companies are sticking it to all of us by limiting choice. Cool phone, their network. I want independent phone choice and I pick the network (assume phone is compatible with network). This model should encourage device choice and reduce phone cost. The TP2 price is decent compared to the others, but still over priced.
iPhone 3G @ $99 + 24 mo @ $70ea on AT&T= $1780
TP2 @ $299 + 24 mo @ $30ea on Sprint = $1020.
If you think the iPhone is a better deal, I want whatever you are smoking.
$300 + a 2 year data plan @ $25/mo min = $900 + minutes for a phone that will list for $650 (Telus). Yes, way too much. These are phones first, PDAs second and internet devices third. I can get a free phone and a netbook for far less and perform nearly all of the same tasks (less internet while standing in a remote field). I really think it is time for the phone manufacturers to create phones that are network neutral and sell them themselves, get the phone companies out of the phone device business. We get lower priced phones and the networks compete on services/price.