Handspring launches online trade-in program

Handspring Inc. Thursday took a cue from the car salesmen, and announced a trade-in program for handheld devices it sells from its Web site.

Owners of almost any handheld computer can trade in their old devices and receive US$100 toward the purchase of Handspring's Visor Edge, as long as they buy the machine from Handspring's Web site. The offer isn't available for handhelds bought via other channels, such as retail stores. An exception is the TechXNY show next week in New York, where buyers can trade in at the Handspring store in person, the company said.

The company also said that users who already own a Handspring Visor can pass it on to a friend or family member, and still receive $100 toward a new Visor Edge. In this case, instead of mailing in their old Visor, buyers would submit the old device's serial number and the name of the person they're passing it to, according to Handspring. The Visor Edge currently sells for $399 on the company's Web site.

The trade-in program begins Friday, and will continue through July 1. Devices qualifying for the trade-in include handhelds that run the Palm OS, Windows CE, PocketPC or Symbian operating systems, as well as Apple Computer Inc.'s Newton, and devices from Sharp Corp., Psion PLC and Casio Computer Co. Ltd., Handspring said.

Handspring and rival Palm Inc. have been engaged in a price war recently. Last month, Handspring cut the price of its Visor Deluxe from $249 to $199, and Palm responded the following week by cutting the price of its Palm VIIx from $299 to $199. United DataTech Distributors will handle the recycling and "environmentally sound" disposal of the incoming products, Handspring said.

More information regarding the program can be found beginning Friday at http://www.handspring.com/promos/tradeup.jhtml.

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