Would free Mobile Hotspot on Verizon sway you to buy a Palm webOS device?

Would free Mobile Hotspot on Verizon sway you to buy a Palm webOS device?

Summary: Verizon slashed the price of its Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus devices while also apparently giving owners the Mobile Hotspot capability for free. We are chasing this news down, but it is working on my Pre Plus and the cost on My Verizon was $0.00.

TOPICS: Mobility, Verizon, Wi-Fi

I don't play the April Fool's games so this is a true and honest post with no trickery included. The Palm webOS devices have not done well in the press and do not appear to be selling well, as we learned in the latest financial report. I just read over on PreCentral.net that Verizon slashed the price of the Pre Plus to $49.99 and the Pixi Plus to just $29.99 with a two year contract. I paid $220 for my Pre Plus one month ago and plan to call them up to see if I qualify for a lower price. Something even better than this though is the apparent FREE Mobile Hotspot feature that was just turned on for Pre Plus and Pixi Plus owners tonight. I went to my Features page on My Verizon page and was able to add it for $0.00. Then I went to check it again and it doesn't even show up as a Feature to toggle on or off. I tested it and the WiFi hotspot capability works like a champ. If Verizon is truly throwing in the Mobile Hotspot service when you buy a Palm webOS device then we may actually see some increased sales.

If this is true, I personally think that is a fabulous bonus for Palm webOS owners on Verizon. Honestly though, I commute on the train about 2 hours a day and travel quite a bit and only need this type of service for about 500MB a month so I think in reality Verizon knows that people really do not use it that much. However, the fact that it is free gives people the impression that they are getting a good deal and that there is value in having a webOS device on Verizon. For the daily commuter and business traveler I do think if it is indeed free then these type of people, including me, will use it more than we did when we had to pay $40 per month for it. This would be a perfect companion to my upcoming Apple iPad.

I'll contact my Verizon rep and try to get the facts on this Mobile Hotspot feature and find out whether or not it really is free or if this is just some glitch in the system.

BTW, a webOS firmware (1.4.1.x) rolled out on foreign devices and Sprint Pre and Pixi devices, but has not yet come to Verizon webOS smartphones. Check out this article to see what has been improved with this latest firmware update.

Topics: Mobility, Verizon, Wi-Fi

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Free WiFi Routing on the Palm Pre Plus?!

    If it can accommodate better bandwidth than my currently free WiFi Routing app...MyTether, why not? Surfing on a laptop will always be a thousand times better than browsing on any mobile phone. And WiFi Routing makes it even better and easier to allow you to share your internet access through the Palm Pre for business or play.
  • No, it wouldnt.

    Palm is on its way out and they are giving away the farm to try and increase their user base. Not only is it ugly hardware but its an ugly OS (subjective yes) when comparing it to the slick nature of Android. Look for Palm to be acquired by a better hardware vendor and then WebOS may have a chance.

    As for the "free mobile hotspot" deal, its been in there since its inception (one of the features Verizon touted) but I dont see it being terribly useful because other devices can tether just as well.
  • No!

  • RE: Would free Mobile Hotspot on Verizon sway you to buy a Palm webOS device?

    I had one in February and returned it because:

    A1: the GPS did not work. Verizon didn't acknowledge this and neither did Palm. But all the forums say it's systemic on the Pre Plus Verizon

    2. Documentation and reviews said it supported yahoo messenger and it did not. The help video on the phone itself showed Yahoo IM as an option while setting up IM but it was not there.

    3. Podcasting. Because the original sell included the IPod mimicing, I guess no one thought to build an official podcasting tool. THere are plenty of streaming apps in the store but nothing to bandwidth shift so I can listen on, say, a plane.

    4. No app to play ogg vorbis music , but I knew that going in.

    To answer the question: I'd rebuy (orig paid 149 + CA sales tax on a $600 list) if the GPS is fixed and the throw in the touchstone charger for free. WebOS is great.
  • Palm's WebOS is by far the best smart phone OS

    iPhone's OS doesn't come close. iPhone has the apps
    for now - but that's changing rapidly and Palm will
    soon have Flash. iPhone will not.

    I know, Apple parakeets - Flash is evil. Flash killed
    the Easter Bunny, blah, blah blah...

    This is great news! I love my Palm and the free WiFi hot-spot access is a very useful feature.
  • Not with Verizon

    If this was from ATT Sprint or TMobile I would consider it.

    Not from Verizon.
  • I did yesterday

    I was due for an upgrade and was holding out for the HTC Incredible but the free wifi hotspot made me pounce on the Palm. I never even gave palm a second thought but now that I have had 24 hours with it, I have to say its leaps and bounds better than the Storm, which is what I was accustomed to. Although it does not have the app support that even blackberry does, the browser is fast enough to not need a specific app.. Just load the page. WebOS has the foundation, just needs to be build up with a solid app library and it can surpass android and eventually iPhone ... hahah .. Pipe dream!
  • Got two.

    I had $50 for NE2, and they have BOGO, so I got one for me and my wife for $0 out of pocket. I had wanted an HTC Incredible, but free is free. So far, I'm blown away by how great webOS is, and how sketchy the hardware is. My BB Pearl lasted 2.5 years; I will be surprised if this Pre makes it half that long.
  • No, wouldn't consider it.

    No matter what Verizon offers, I would not consider changing to a CDMA based carrier.
    I'll wait for the GSM version to come out, which is right around the corner. This may be what Palm needs to get it competitive again, they limited themselves greatly by granting exclusivity to a CDMA carrier. They should have a least made unlocked GSM models available which would have given them worldwide prospects.
    At least the GSM models are finally coming out... I hope this helps to keep Palm and WebOS alive.
  • RE: Would free Mobile Hotspot on Verizon sway you to buy a Palm webOS device?

    Yes, it would. In fact, it just did. Knowlegeable sales folks got me to listen, but it was the Palm mobile hotspot that sealed the deal. And ? it's working like a champ with my iPad!
    Bob Reinhard