Following up on plans announced last January, AT&T has announced it will be carrying the Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus smartphones. According to AT&T, the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus will be the only webOS devices available in the U.S. that will support simultaneous voice and data while running multiple applications at the same time.
The Palm Pre and Palm Pixi Plus will be priced at $149.99 and $49.99, respectively, after a $100 mail-in rebate and with a new two-year contract. AT&T has not revealed when it plans to offer the Palm devices for sale, with the only indication being that they will be available in the “coming months.” Both the Pre Plus and the Pixi Plus will support AT&T’s address book service as a Synergy synchronization option, and will be able to connect for free to AT&T’s network of U.S.-based Wi-Fi hotspots.
It’s possible a few months’ time may be too late for Palm: the company just reported disappointing third-quarter financial results, with shipments down 29 percent compared to a year ago and a retail channel that’s already flooded with unsold devices. Palm’s webOS smartphones—which are currently available on Sprint and Verizon Wireless—have had trouble competing against the plethora of smartphones on the market: BlackBerry devices and the Apple iPhone command significant brand awareness, and so far Android seems to be resonating with consumers, and sales of Android-based devices expected to take off this year. The smartphone market may get even more competitive toward the end of the year with the introduction of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 Series devices.