Palm was the one that started it all. The company was the first big name in the smartphone business and then it all went away; Palm faded into the background in favour of the bigger names like RIM and Apple. CES has seen the company announce it’s latest handset, in the hopes of taking back some of the ever-growing smartphone market.
Palm has been talking about CES for months. Back in November Palm CEO, Ed Colligan, spoke to InformationWeek about Palm’s plans for cutting itself a slice of the smartphone pie. Colligan said that with people’s personal and work lives melding together more there was a need for a phone that could pull off both business and pleasure. He dubbed it the fat middle market and it was what Palm was after.
The company today launched the Palm Pre, a touchscreen smartphone that features a slide out QWERTY keyboard and uses some of the same pinch and flick functions that iPod touch and iPhone users are so familiar with.
It’s been far too long since we’ve seen something fresh and new from Palm and the Pre was worth the wait. Again, the issue is with whether or not it’s going to be good enough to compete with the likes of the iPhone of the Blackberry Storm. With it’s curved shape and 3.1-inch display (320x480), EVDO, integrated Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and 8GB of storage the Pre is a decent phone. It’s 3mp camera one ups the iPhone but unfortunately Palm doesn’t have the reputation that the iPhone has and so it’s unlikely people will see it as a huge seller.
The Pre will be available on Sprint in the first half of '09 in the US. No word about availability in other territories other than it’s “on the way”. Nothing about pricing either.