We’ve gotten word from a tipster that the reason that Palm didn’t announce any carrier availability during their Treo 680 announcement was because they’re still trying to pound out the specifics. All four major carriers – Cingular, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint – are driving a hard bargain.
One method of deployment possible is with Cingular, offering their 680 for free, but forcing the customer to sign up for a $30 internet plan. What’s the catch? The customer can’t change or remove that $30 internet plan for the entire 2-year contract period. Doing so would incur the wrath of Cingular in the form of fees and a dog going over to chew on your tender areas. If you do the math, $30 for two years makes you…taking the integral…$720 poorer.
Of course this is just a possible launch plan. Another could be a partner with T-Mobile to offer the same thing. Except T-Mobile really wants Palm to cough up a Treo with WiFi so T-Mobile can sell their hotspot plans.