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The Palm Pre Plus is now only 1 penny, with a new two year contract, via Amazon.com.
Buyers can get a free Pre Plus with 2 year contract on the Verizon network, from Palm

Hedge fund manager and former star hockey player at Harvard University Philip Falcone revealed in a regulatory filing on Tuesday that he had taken a 9.48 percent stake (16 million shares) in mobile handset maker Palm.  Falcone is known as an activist investor with his share of ups and downs.  In 2007 he became famous when he bet against subprime mortgages and his funded doubled.  In 2008, he reportedly posted a double digit loss after betting wrong on oil prices and being unable to short sell certain stocks thanks to new laws.  In 2009, though, he recouped posting a 45 percent gain.

After the announcement of Falcone's stake, Palm share jumped 10 percent, then settled down to a gain of 3.1 percent.

Palm can use all the help it can get.  Its stock is in shambles and it has a huge backlog of unsold handsets, which took take over a year to sell.  Palm's production is currently halted and there's no new handsets known to be in store for the second half of the year.

The company is resorting to fire sale tactics on the Verizon network, selling its Pre Plus smart phones at two for $49.99 and its Pixi Plus smart phones at two for $29.99 thanks to a price drop and Verizon's "Buy One Get One" promotion.  More incredibly, on Amazon.com you can get a single Pre Plus handset for $0.01 (the phone retails without contract for $699.99).  That phone also comes with free 3G hotspot capabilities (as do all Palm smart phones on Verizon's network).

Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein remains optimistic that the company will pull through this tough time.  The company has $590M USD in cash to weather the storm.  That cash also makes it an attractive acquisition target.  There's been rumors that Palm is looking to sell itself to the highest bidder and that HTC was among the interested parties.

Palm currently sits in fifth place on the smartphone market, behind Google, Microsoft, Apple and Research in Motion.



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Verizon's Fire Sale not "all that"
By guacamojo on 4/15/2010 11:12:42 AM , Rating: 2
My wife's a long-time Palm user, and she's been eyeing the Pre+, so I headed over to Verizon's store, thinking I'd get it for her as a surprise upgrade of her old LG ENV2. The problem: we still have 7 months left on our existing contract, and they didn't exactly want to help.

Basically it boiled down to one option: add a line (for the new phone) and swap her old number with the new phone's number. Ok, I can live with that. But then they said that when our existing contract is up, she can't cancel the old phone without losing her phone number, which is a PITA. What the hell?

The salesman was very (not) helpful: "You can just give the old phone to someone else in your family, and then you can keep the number." Hah.

I like VZW for their voice network coverage, but things like this are so damned frustrating. I guess current customers aren't the target audience for the sale prices.

Consider:
I'm ready to buy. All they have to do is give me a halfway reasonable path to buy the phone. But they won't, so they can discount it to free and I still won't buy it. Not for another 7 months, anyway.




RE: Verizon's Fire Sale not "all that"
By clovell on 4/15/2010 1:07:12 PM , Rating: 2
That sucks, man. I've got to tell you, when my g/f and I got our Palm Pre's with Sprint back in November, she was having all sorts of issues with certain folks not being able to get through when they called her.

The folks at Sprint were really confused, but they were always very helpful and courteous - from the techs on the phone, to the guys in the store who helped us out.

The issue turned out to be that Verizon had not fully released that number to Sprint, and so when calls would route through their switchboards, the number would be shown as not in use and callers would get a message that told them so. Callers whose calls didn't touch Verizon's switches had no problem.

The technical snafu took over a month to sort out. While Sprint's customer service on the phone makes me want reach my fist through the airwaves and knock them the F* out, the techs on the phone, and the guys in the store were all very nice.

It seems like it's all a matter of who you talk to. You might try talking to the store manager and seeing if he can help you.


By mcnabney on 4/16/2010 6:08:42 PM , Rating: 2
I am sure that Sprint blamed Verizon for the problem.

However, what you described would not cause a selective issue. A bad port would not activate. What you were experiencing was just crappy Sprint service.


RE: Verizon's Fire Sale not "all that"
By johnsonx on 4/17/2010 12:32:34 AM , Rating: 2
You have to remember though that you haven't really paid for the LG ENV2 yet. You have to complete your contract term before you've paid for the phone. Yes, I know, it doesn't seem fair, because new customers off the street are getting the phone for $49.99 (or two phones), yet as an existing customer you're not getting the deal.

Once you get to the 2-year point though, you may actually get a BETTER deal than a new customer off the street. I got my Pre Plus for $0 because I was past my 'new-every-two' date.

Now, the thing with the phone number is a bit weird to me, I don't get that one.

If I were you I'd call Verizon customer service and try getting the phone that way. That's how I got mine... they ship the phone the same day via fedex 2-day air.


By johnsonx on 4/17/2010 12:45:22 AM , Rating: 2
I realize I didn't exactly finish my thought about calling verizon customer service to get your phone. What I've found is the cs reps know a lot more about what sort of deal they can get for you, and what ways around the restrictions there are. They also have direct access to managers who can make exceptions, offer discounts, etc. Store reps don't have the same level of information, or the same access. I've found them to be quite knowledgeable and accomodating.


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