'

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

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.

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.