By Greg Kumparak
Palm (PALM) may be down, but they’re not out just yet. Following the launch of the Pre and Pixi on Sprint (NYSE:S) last year and their respective Plus editions on Verizon (NYSE:VZ) back in January, Palm has just announced that they’ll soon be launching the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus on AT&T (NYSE:T).
While its never bad news to get your handsets onto a new carrier, just how good this news is for Palm depends almost entirely on how AT&T handles it.
Palm’s exclusive launch with Sprint came as the carrier was smack-dab in the middle of their never-ending customer bleed, and their debut on Verizon had the unfortunate timing of coming right after VZW had just dumped a monstrous marketing budget into the Motorola Droid. With AT&T expected to only have an exclusive lock on the contract-magnet wunderkind that is the iPhone for another year (and a half, at most), how much time will they put behind properly marketing Palm’s goods?
From a hardware standpoint, the handsets being offered up for AT&T are virtually identical to that which we saw hit Verizon, save the fact that these latest ones are GSM. The Pre Plus has a 3.1″ screen, while the Pixi Plus’ comes in at 2.63″. Both handsets have 802.11b/g WiFi, integrated GPS, and Bluetooth 2.1+.
The software has seen some minor changes. The on-the-fly WiFi router Mobile Hotspot software that debuted on the VZW handsets didn’t make it over. On the upside, Palm threw in a new feature they’re calling “Whisper”, which automatically connects AT&T Hotspot customers to any AT&T WiFi point without requiring them to retype their credentials.
Neither company is saying exactly when to expect the handsets to hit the shelves, outside of “in the coming months.” When they do, the price tag will be set at $149.99 for the Pre Plus and $49.99 for the Pixi Plus, both after an always-annoying $100 mail-in rebate.