AT&T throws support behind Palm, webOS

AT&T Mobility officially offered its support to beleaguered smartphone maker Palm, and said it will launch the vendor's latest webOS devices in the coming months.

Palm Pre AT&T Mobility AT&T first declared its support for Palm at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, but it was unclear which devices AT&T would sell. The carrier said today it will launch the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus "in the coming months" for $149.99 and $49.99, respectively, with a two-year contract and after a $100 mail-in rebate. The phones are essentially the same devices that are available through rival Verizon Wireless. The AT&T versions will support AT&T's new address book feature, allowing users to easily synchronize their contacts.

Sprint Nextel also sells Palm's webOS devices, giving Palm support from three of the four Tier 1 U.S. carriers.

Palm, which has struggled to gain a foothold in the competitive smartphone market, reported weak device sales last week, but said it is confident about its course. The company beat its own diminished revenue expectations for its fiscal third quarter, but its device sell-though suffered. The company shipped a total of 960,000 smartphone units during the quarter, up 23 percent from the second quarter of fiscal year 2010 and an almost 300 percent increase from the year-ago quarter. However, smartphone sell-through for the quarter, which ended Feb. 26, was 408,000 units, down 29 percent from the second quarter and down 15 percent year-over-year.

In other AT&T smartphone news, the carrier said it will soon offer Dell's first Android smartphone for the U.S. market. The device, which previously paraded under the Mini3 moniker, will now be called the Aero. The carrier, which disclosed its partnerhsip with Dell at CES, said that device will feature a custom user interface developed by Dell and AT&T.

AT&T did not provide pricing or release date information for the Aero.

For more:
- see this release
- see this Engadget post

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