Palm (PALM) has set a deal to sell its handsets though AT&T (T) Wireless. Unfortunately, the relationship does not begin “for a few months.” Palm will market its Palm Pre Plus for $149.99 and its Pre Pix for $49.99. The handset firm will need the extra $.99 on each unit, based on its recent quarterly earnings.
The Palm retail prices are based on subscribers buying a two-year subscription plan with AT&T. Customers have to send proof of purchase to get a $100 rebate or pay that much extra for the phones.
Fortunately for Palm and AT&T, no one bothers to send in the rebate slip, either because they lose it or don’t think it is worth the time.
Palm will probably have trouble selling its Pre models through AT&T. Customers who come into the phone company’s wireless retail locations will look at the Pre on one hand and the Apple (AAPL) iPhone on the other. It’s not much of a comparison.
Then there is the question in the back of some customers minds about whether Palm will still be in business in a year.
Douglas A. McIntyre firstname.lastname@example.org.
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