UPDATED: Sprint pulls $99 Pre offer for new customers

Hours after news broke that Sprint Nextel would be selling new customers a Palm Pre at half price, the carrier has decided to pull the offer. Sprint spokesman James Fisher told FierceWireless that there had been an "internal communications issue" regarding the offer, which priced the device at $99 for new customers, and that it had been withdrawn.

Later, Sprint released an official statement on the matter, saying: "After further internal review today, the offer of a port-in service credit of $100 to new customers who buy the Palm Pre has been pulled, because it was put into the system in error."

The offer would have given new customers a $100 service credit if they switched their line to a Palm Pre and signed a two-year contract, a move that would have halved the price of the smartphone from $199.99 to $99.99 with a mail-in rebate. According to the All Things D blog, Sprint will honor its obligation to anyone who bought a Pre under the offer when it was briefly available. 

sprint pre price cutThe offer was available only to new customers and not existing Sprint subscribers. Sprint said on its website that it would apply the $100 credit to a customer's account within three invoices. Though the offer has now been rescinded, the link to the offer is still up on Sprint's website.

Sprint has been beefing up its smartphone lineup. The carrier launched Research In Motion's BlackBerry Tour in July for $199.99 with a  two-year contract, and will launch the HTC Hero, its first Android phone, on Oct. 11 for $179.99 (excluding taxes) with a two-year contract and after $50 instant savings and a $100 mail-in rebate. And Sprint is not alone. Verizon Wireless has cut the price of many of its smartphones to below $99, which followed AT&T Mobility's move to cut the price of the iPhone 3G to $99 (after the introduction of the $199 iPhone 3GS).

Sprint began selling the Palm Pre June 6 and has not disclosed sales figures. Palm reports its quarterly earnings Sept. 17, thought it is not known whether it will disclose Pre sales numbers.

For more:
- see this All Things D post
- see the Sprint offer
- see this Reuters article

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