In a surprise move, Palm announced a new WebOS device. Called Pixi, it’s smaller, lighter device than the Pre with a candybar form factor. Like the Pre, it runs WebOS and comes with 8GB of storage space. It differs from the Pre with a smaller form factor and smaller screen and a slightly slower processor. With the Pre slated to drop to $149, that would likely put the Pixi in the $99 price range, making it more affordable to the target demographic. Also like the Pre, the Pixi is a Sprint exclusive for now. All WeBOS features are there along with new Synergy links to Yahoo and LinkedIn, making the Pre one of the most socially connected of devices.
I had a chance to spend a few moments with newest addition to the WebOS family and this feels like it’s the Centro of a new generation. It has great hand feel and is likely to appeal to a younger demographic more concerned with the text an social media features of the Pixi and what’s likely to be a lower and more affordable price point. Palm continues to execute well in the narrow straits it finds itself in. It has continued to hit every mark in needed to since the introduction of the Pre and Web OS in January. With today’s news, Palm has delivered on their second in a promised family of devices. We’ve seen in our research how Palm has been able to gain significant mindshare, and mindshare is something we know translates into market share over time. A new lower priced device also maps very well into the research we’ve done on consumer price expectations for smartphones. Overall, we expect the Pixi to be a hit device and while Sprint does not offer the iPhone, the diverse catalog of device offerings it is showcasing for fourth quarter is likely to draw in users who might be looking for a different phone experience.