Palm cuts prices

Palm reduced the price of its entry level m100 model to $129 from $US149. The colour Palm IIIc handheld and the black-and-white, sleeker form factor Palm Vx model will each now be $US299, cutting $US50 from the Vx price and $US30 from the IIIc. However, due to the current state of the Australian dollar against the US, it is unlikely the price changes will be felt here.

"Palm is indeed trying to move inventory aggressively and wisely," Palm said through a spokeswoman from the company's public relations firm. "In addition to the price drop, we have initiated new in-store promotions and new point-of-sale displays in the retail environment."

The company also said on Wednesday that it had extended its licensing agreement with Handspring for the Palm operating system through April 2009. The licensing deal is non-exclusive; Handspring may choose to use another OS in its product.

During the third quarter ending in February, Palm licensees paid $US8.6 million to the personal digital assistant (PDA) maker. Palm wants to make more money from licenses eventually, but in the third quarter most of its revenue -- $US451 million in sales -- came from Palm hardware.

Palm sales dropped sharply in March of 2000, the company said in its March earnings conference at the end of the month, noting that it expected weaker sales this year for the same period.

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