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HP goes green with handheld discount

The device maker says it will offer discounts of $50 on Pocket PCs, if customers return their old personal digital assistants for recycling.

Hewlett-Packard this week announced that it will offer a discount of $50 on the Pocket PC for buyers who turn in their old personal digital assistants.

Alternatively, if a customer's old PDA is worth more than $50, the customer will receive a rebate equal to the device's value.

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The offer runs through July 10 for purchases of the iPaq h1940 and h2210 series Pocket PCs. The value of the trade-ins will be determined by HP partner Market Velocity, which will make its assessments based on factors like product availability, needed refurbishments and shipping costs.

Customers with Mac-based Palms will get an extra rebate, if they buy PocketMac, a Mac-to-pocket PC conversion product. Obsolete products will be recycled.

HP last month announced a plan to offer credits of up to $100 for customers who use its online recycling service during April. Other PC makers, like Dell and IBM, also offer recycling programs.

Beyond the environmental benefits, the move may help HP boost sales of its handheld devices. The market for such devices has gotten tougher, with shipments dropping 17.9 percent in 2003. Research firm IDC has said handheld devices are facing increased competition from other kinds of mobile devices, such as cellular phones, that combine multiple roles.