Fresh off Palm reporting a 29 percent drop in sales for its third fiscal quarter, Verizon Wireless is getting even more aggressive with pricing on Palm smartphones in an effort to get consumers to give them a shot: the carrier has cut the price of the Palm Pre Plus to just $50 from $150, and the price of the Palm Pixi to $30 from $50…and buying either one gets you a second at no charge.
And that’s not all: Verizon is also offering the Mobile Hotspot application for the Palm smartphones for free: the application lets customers use their smartphones as mobile Wi-Fi hotspots for up to five devices at once. Verizon used to charge $40 per month for using the mobile hotspot software; not that charge has been eliminated, and Palm has extended the boon to existing Palm customers too. Effectively, the application turns the Palm smartphone into the equivalent of a MiFi router without the $60 per month cost. Verizon hasn’t mentioned any data limits on the Palm-based hotspots, though: MiFi’s get 5 GB of data transfer per month, then pay $0.05 per MB overage.
Despite Palm’s recent woes—which saw the company ship a record number of units into retailer channels—reports have Verizon Wireless spokespeople denying the company is holding a firesale on Palm devices to clear inventory. Late last month, Palm announced the Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi would also be launching soon on AT&T.