Palm today announced the Pixi, the latest addition to the webOS line-up, which will be available exclusively on Sprint in time for the holidays. No doubt, Sprint is hoping the Pixi news overshadows yesterday’s case of the mistaken Palm Pre pricing.
The slick-looking Pixi features a thin design, full keyboard and personalization fashion options. In a press release, Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein says the Pixi brings the webOS experience to a broader range of people who want enhanced messaging and social networking in a design that lets them express their personal style.
Palm also introduced the Palm Pixi Artist Series, designed by artists, that includes limited-edition back covers that users can change to suit their mood. Palm is showcasing the covers this week at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York.
As for the Pixi pricing, that hasn’t been announced yet. The companies say the pricing information will come closer to when product availability is announced, similar to how they announced for the Pre.
The companies did, however, announce the Palm Pre is now available for $149.99 with a two-year Sprint agreement and after rebates. That follows a bit of a debacle yesterday after Sprint posted a $100 Pre price cut on the Web, only to take it down after discovering it was an error. The real price cut is closer to $50.
Sprint spokesman James Fisher says the $100 cut was the result of some internal miscommunication; the offer was removed, and the company is honoring it for those customers who grabbed it for the hours it was in effect.
Analysts at Pali Research, for one, say they’re not going to forget about the Pre pricing glitch. “Yesterday’s mistaken $100 price cut on the Pre a day before an actual $50 price cut did not support its own cause with investors, which are already quite skeptical of whether CEO Dan Hesse can improve the subscriber losses,” analyst Walter Piecyk wrote in a blog post today.
However, Piecyk added, today’s new exclusive relationship with Palm for the Pixi and renewed speculation about its possible sale to Deutsche Telekom could cause investors to quickly forget yesterday’s debacle. “We won’t,” he added.
Pali Research estimates weekly sales of the Pre have settled in over 30,000 but says the company continues to be “wasting an opportunity” to take more advantage of the unique product. “The only mistake was not offering this [$100] price cut to all customers and not including a simultaneous marketing push.”