Despite lackluster sales of the Palm Pre, Sprint is set to launch a second Palm device. Earlier this year, Sprint was hoping the Palm Pre would lead the wireless carrier out of its current slump. Customers have been fleeing Sprint in droves, opting for the top two carriers—Verizon and AT&T—keeping Sprint firmly in third place among the large wireless mobile companies. While the Pre has received good reviews, it just hasn’t been able to crack AT&T’s iPhone, or Verizon’s smartphones the way Sprint, and Palm, hoped it would. Both companies needed a boost and thought the Pre was their ticket to renewed popularity and profit. It hasn’t turned out that way, but the companies haven’t given up yet. Now they’re putting a little faith in the Palm Pixi, set to launch on November 15.
The Palm Pixi is pretty much a slimmer, lighter version of the Palm Pre, with a few differences, both major and minor. On the minor side, the Pixi has an exposed QWERTY keyboard as opposed to the slide-out keyboard on the Pre, and the Pixi’s touchscreen is slightly smaller than the Pre’s. As for major differences, the Pixi does not offer Wi-Fi, which is a main feature of the Pre. It could be said the Pre is the high end model, while the Pixi is a more affordable, albeit less feature-rich alternative.
This has led some wireless industry watchers to speculate Sprint may market the Pixi as a kids’ phone. This makes sense when you consider that the device seems to be geared toward social media, including an integrated link to the user’s Facebook account. The Pixi also offers an Artist Series that allows the user to customize the back cover with any of five works by contemporary artists.
The pricing also seems to be a consideration of the upcoming holidays. The Pixi will sell for $99.99 with a two-year contract, and after a $50 instant rebate, and a $100 mail-in rebate. That’s a very reasonable price for a smartphone new to the market, and it may very well drop the closer we get to the holidays.