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Handspring offers developers 15% discount

Top-end models going cheap

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Handspring is borrowing Palm's tactics and offering a special discount on its high-end PDAs to its developer community, according to a email that dropped into The Register's Inbox this morning.

Developers are being offered 15 per cent off the retail price of the Visor Prism, Visor Edge (in all three colours) and Visor Platinum. Only Stateside developers need apply, natch.

Customers can call Handspring up, apparently, and just by quoting a number - called, for some reason, a "source code"; presumably that's what passes for a joke at Handspring - and handing over credit card details.

Like Palm's recent big developer discounts, which knock up to 40 per cent off its high-end models, Handspring's offer is only available for a limited time. Developers have until 30 June 2001 to claim their 15 per cent discount. Coincidentally (ahem) that's the very day Handspring's current fiscal quarter comes to a close.

Palm spins its developer discount as a 'thank you' for coders' hard work producing tens of thousands of PalmOS apps, but it's really about clearing the company's mountain of unsold PDAs. Handspring's official line on its discount is that it's a "celebration" because there are now 50 Springboard plug-in modules on sale. We're not sure that's really a reason to be nice to developers, and we wonder if there's a Palm-style ulterior motive to it all.

Here's Handspring's discounts in full:

  Retail Price 15% Discount Developer Price
Visor Prism $449 $67.35 $381.65
Visor Platinum $299 $44.85 $254.15
Visor Edge (Blue) $399 $59.85 $339.15
Visor Edge (Silver) $399 $59.85 $339.15
Visor Edge (Red) $399 $59.85 $339.15

We note that the Visor Platinum discount actually works out a worse deal for developers than ordinary buyers. Handspring's current rebate programme knocks the Platinum's price down to $249, less than the $254.15 developers will pay.

There doesn't appear to be a limit on the number of machines they can buy - hence Handspring's move to stress that the PDAs are "not for resale". Given what we hear about Handspring's refusal to allow resellers to discount prices here in the UK at the very least, we're not surprised the company is worried about canny developers buying shedloads of cheap Visors and selling them on. ®

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