Pixi or Pre? $99 Will Get You Either.
The Pixi, Palm’s (PALM) second webOS-powered smart phone, finally has a price and a U.S. street date. This morning, Sprint (S) said the device will arrive at market Nov. 15. Price: $99.99 with a two-year contract and after a $50 instant rebate and a $100 mail-in rebate.
Not the most aggressive price considering that Amazon (AMZN) is currently offering the Pre, the Pixi’s elder, more robust sibling, for $99 (see image below; click to enlarge) with a two-year contract as well. Remember, the Pixi has a slower processor and a smaller screen than the Pre. And it doesn’t support Wi-Fi. Has some neat back covers though!
Worse, Pixi requires $200 to get out the door, and statistically speaking, there will be quite a few people who will fail to cash in that second $100 rebate. As I noted back when the Pre launched with a similar rebate program, redemption rates for offers like these typically run around 58 percent, thanks to customers who either find the process too cumbersome or forget about it entirely.
This can end up being quite lucrative for the issuing company. Consider this: In 2004, TiVo (TIVO) promised customers a $100 mail-in rebate within six to eight weeks of the purchase of a new DVR. About 50,000 of the 104,000 eligible for that offer failed to take advantage of it. That saved TiVo about $5 million.