Palm Makes the Pixi Official

On Wednesday, Palm announced what had been rumored for months, since before the Palm Pre even launched: a second webOS based device that was cheaper and with a non-slide-out QWERTY keyboard. The Pixi (nee Eos or even Pixie) had been rumored to be announced this week, and here we are.

The official pictures show little to nothing we hadn't already seen via the leaked information from way back in April. However, the buzz had been that Pixi was going to go to AT&T, although it was suspected it might hit Sprint as well.

The Pixi will also drop wi-fi in an obvious cost-cutting move, running against the industry trend of late of providing wi-fi on just about every smartphone. At least, as opposed to initial rumors, it will have 8GB of storage as opposed to the 4GB that was leaked.

The price of the Palm Pixi has been estimate to be around $99, but there no info on that of yet. However, the news release also noted that the Palm Pre's price has been dropped to $149, so it's likely the Pixi will indeed hit that $99 price point. There is also no info on a solid release date, although the release says "in time for the holidays."

The Palm Pixi's lower price might attract a younger crowd, however, much as the Centro's low price did, and Palm is leveraging that with the Palm Pixi Artist Series. In a move reminiscent of Zune Originals and Dell's Design Studio laptops, users can buy numbered, limited-edition artist-designed back covers. Those who might want to use Palm's Touchstone charger should know that those special back covers will be compatible with the Artist series.

While it was already strange that Palm was planning to announce this in the same week as Apple's annual music-focused event, it's still stranger that Palm would do it on the same day as the event. It seems timing isn't exactly a marketing forte there.