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Amazon special: Smartphones for one penny

If he were around today, even Crazy Eddie might have been hard-pressed to beat this offer: 1 cent for a smartphone.

Through next Monday, Amazon is selling a variety of name brand smartphones from AT&T, Sprint and Verizon for one penny with a two-year contract. Apple's iPhone is not included in the roster but there are still several deals on offer. For instance, Verizon sells the Motorola Droid Razr for $299 with a two-year contract, the Samsung Galaxy S II, Epic 4G Touch sells for $199 at Sprint with a two-year contract, and the BlackBerry Torch 4G costs $99 from AT&T with a two-year contract.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos tried a similar marketing tack in October, when Apple's iPhone 4S debuted. At the time, Amazon put its Verizon phones on sale for a penny. This could be a harbinger of Amazon's increasingly hardscrabble competition with Apple. The companies also compete in the tablet arena and when Amazon introduced the Kindle Fire, it listed the machine $199, substantially lower than the $499 Apple charges for the iPad 2.

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