RealTime IT News

Handspring Offers Trade-Up

Not to be outdone by the competition, handheld computer maker Handspring (Nasdaq: HAND) Thursday launched a new trade-up program where you can exchange almost any handheld computer and get $100 toward the purchase of a new $399 Handspring Visor Edge.

The competition in this case is Santa Clara-based Palm (Nasdaq: PALM) who slashed prices on their own PDAs back in May.

Mountain View-based Handspring says the nice thing about the offer is if you already own a Handspring Visor handheld, you can pass it on to a friend and still receive the same $100 to put toward a new Visor Edge.

The trade-up program starts Friday, June 8 for a limited time at Handspring.com. In addition, Handspring is making the offer good to consumers wanting to trade their old PDAs at the TECHXNY (formerly PC Expo), June 26-28 in New York City.

"From day one, people have been asking us how they can trade in their old handheld for one of our Visors," says Handspring Senior VP of Sales and Marketing Ed Colligan. "We think this is a great way to reward our Visor customers and provide a strong incentive for anyone already invested in a handheld to step up to something new."

Unfortunately, the offer comes at a time when Handspring is telling investors its fiscal fourth quarter revenue estimates will be trimmed a bit more than 50 percent.

The company says tough competition and slower than normal PDA sales is forcing it to reduce its Q4 earnings between $60 million and $65 million, which is lower than an earlier forecast of about $130 million for the same time period. Handspring's quarter ends June 30.

The handheld computer price wars have been heating up recently. Last month, Palm cut its VIIx handheld $100 -- from $299 to $199. Add to that a $100 rebate once buyers sign up for the Palm.Net Internet access service (which begins at $25 a month) and the VIIx clocks in at a svelte $99.

Handling the recycling and disposal of all those incoming PDAs is San Jose-based United DataTech Distributors, a reclamation company.

Competing PDAs you can trade-up for include: Palm OS, Windows CE, Pocket PC or Symbian operating systems, as well as Apple Newton, Sharp, Psion and Casio handheld computers.