HP Offering Free Palm Pre Plus, Pixi Plus with Verizon or ATandT Service
Hewlett Packard, the new owner of smartphone-maker Palm, is already
working to get its newest assets off of storage-room shelves and into
the hands of consumers. On its Website, HP is now offering the Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus for free with the activation of a service contract with AT&T or Verizon Wireless.
AT&T is offering free activation for both devices, though consumers who choose the Palm Pre Plus on either network will additionally get a free in-vehicle charger, leather carrying case and a mini Bluetooth headset.
Sprint your carrier of choice? HP has also posted the Palm Pre, in black, for $99.99, with free activation on the Sprint network, or the Palm Pixi, also in black, for $19.99 (sorry, no free activation there).
The Palm Pre Plus pairs a 3.1-inch touchscreen and slide-out QWERTY keypad with 3G, Bluetooth 2.1 and WiFi connectivity. Plus, it can act as a hotspot for up to five WiFi-enabled devices. Also on board is Palm Synergy, a program that offers a single view of conversations from multiple sources, along with more efficient interactions with contacts and calendar sources.
The Pre Plus also includes, among other features, a 3-megapixel camera, GPS support, 16GB of Flash memory and support for HTML surfing, various email clients, and instant-, text- and multimedia messaging.
Synergy is also on the Pixi Plus, which features a 2.63-inch multitouch screen, along with 3G, Bluetooth, GPS and WiFi connectivity-plus the hotspot capability for five devices. Unlike the slide-out Pre Plus, the more candy bar-style Pixi Plus features a dedicated QWERTY keypad below its display. There's also 8GB of Flash memory and a 2-megapixel camera.
Both devices can now also run webOS 1.4.5, which Palm made available for download June 30. This update, per Palm, includes "minor fixes and enhancements to support the public release of the webOS PDK." It also fixes a hitch so that podcasts download correctly, and, on certain Web sites, enables the text being entered in a field to remain the focus of the screen.
On the AT&T site, the carrier currently offers the Palm Pre Plus for $149.99 and the Pixi Plus for $49.99, each with new service activation. Verizon, on its site, offers the Pixi Plus free with a new contract, and the Pre Plus for $49.99 with contract, while Sprint offers the original Palm Pre for $149.99 and the Palm Pixi for $49.99 - both with a two-year service contract.
In addition to moving Palm inventory, HP has taken steps to slim down the Palm staff. Reportedly, it has laid off a number of Palm employees-"double digits, not hundreds," says a source-in an effort, said an HP spokesperson, to consolidate its functions and operations.