Smartphones for one cent? An advertising gimmick sees Amazon selling smartphones for a penny through November 28. Under the heading of "there’s no such thing as a free lunch," it will cost you a two year contract with the wireless provider you choose, Verizon, Sprint, or AT&T.

A Cent for a SmartphoneThe low cost Verizon plan is $39.99 per month which adds up to $959.76. And that doesn?t include text messaging, web access or email. Unlimited text, photo, video, with email, GPS, Sprint TV (on their network) and 450 talk minutes goes for $69.99 at Sprint. AT&T offers a plan for seniors which allows them 200 minutes for $29.99 a month.

That penny you bought the phone with adds up. Although the one cent sale looks like a loss leader for Amazon, they probably get a kick back from the wireless carrier when you sign up.

Then again, if you live in Europe or a similar advanced market, you have seen these type of actions happen all the time and rarely anyone buys the phone at full price. Premium smartphones go for one euro or a similar value and then the cost is passed onto you through an 18-24 month contract.

If you decide to thrill yourself with an taste of how life in Europe looks like just be aware that before you click Add to Cart – the deal doesn?t include the iPhone. Amazon is not selling the venerable fruity product through Amazon Wireless, but the army of (an)Droids, Blackberries and others go for sale.

Seeing carbon-fiber encased Motorola Droid Razr (what happened to a clamshell? Ed.), Galaxy S II, Droid Incredible 2, HTC Rezound and all other fancy non-droids for a penny will certainly make a geek heart warm.

Samsung Galaxy S II is one of the hottest selling smartphones today, and you can have it for a single penny.
Samsung Galaxy S II is one of the hottest selling smartphones today, and you can have it for a single penny.

With the Galaxy S II retailing for $599.99, a penny looks like a good deal. Retail price, however, really isn?t an issue. Cell phones, generally, are discounted to entice you into the wireless carrier?s corral. The issue is: Do you want to be tied into a two year contract?

Then again, you will end up paying for your mobile service anyways, so why not get a 600 dollar value out of the deal?