Palm Selling Contract Free webOS Phones
With Verizon's new webOS handsets now out the door, Palm has updated its online store with some new details on where to purchase the new devices. A surprising new option has materialized which gives shoppers the opportunity to buy a new Palm Pre or Pixi (plusses included) directly from Palm.com without a contract commitment or carrier credit check.
The standard Sprint Palm Pre and Pixi sell for $549 and $399, while the Pre Plus sells for $599. While this is a nice option for developers and customers, prospective purchasers must still pay the full unsubsidized price, and the CDMA devices seem to still be locked to their respective carriers. As of today, there is still no domestic unlocked option or a US GSM model offered at this time.
Developers and users not interested in a CDMA contract commitment can utilize various third party developer tools to customize and bypass the usual activation processes. webOS Internals has a program called MetaDoctor which does just that. The program provides a means to bypass the "First Use" application and allows a webOS phone to function without having been activated on a cellular network.
In addition to the direct purchasing options, Palm now also lists some online retailers that offer webOS phones. Currently the options detailed include links to Amazon.com depending on the model.