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Handspring further trims Treo price

The handheld computer maker says it will offer the monochrome Treo 180 for $249 for those who sign up for a service contract with T-Mobile or Cingular.

Handspring said it will offer its Treo 180 handheld computer and cell phone hybrid for as low as $249 when people sign up for service contracts with T-Mobile or Cingular.

The new price comes after Handspring reduced the Treo 180 to $349 with service activation in September. Now, the company is reducing the monochrome device's price by an additional $100 for T-Mobile and Cingular customers. Without cell phone service, the Treo 180 costs $449.

Handspring has been slashing prices for the Treo 180 as it ushers its more robust Treo 300 into the market. The Treo 300 is a color version of the 180 that runs on Sprint's PCS Vision network. The 300 model costs $449 after a $50 rebate.

Handspring has been hinging its future growth on the Treo while de-emphasizing its Visor line of standard handhelds. Earlier this month, the company said it sold 44,000 Treo devices during its third fiscal quarter, more than the number of Treos sold in the first and second quarters combined.

Still, times are tough for the handheld maker as it faces weakening demand and strong competition from products running on Microsoft's Pocket PC operating system. The Handspring revised its revenue guidance for the current quarter to between $54 million and $60 million, down from its previous forecast of between $80 million and $90 million.

The Treo line has been so heavily touted because of its ability to act as a cell phone and a handheld organizer. Versions of the Treo also include a thumb keyboard to send e-mails while integrating address book and calendar features with its cell phone service. Treo uses the Palm operating system.