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Palm Pre & webOS Unveiled

Palm Finally Unveils Next-Generation webOS and Pre Smartphone


A couple of weeks ago I had mentioned that I wanted nothing less than for all people leaving Palm’s CES event to say “Wow, WOw, WOW!!!” and overall I think that this is exactly what happened earlier today as a crowd of hundreds of journalists witnessed the unveiling of the long awaited next-generation Palm webOS and Pre Smartphone.

There is no doubt in my mind that we were all privileged to have attended one of the most important events of the year and the moment that Palm began its turnaround – the Pre smartphone promises to be an absolutely awesome success when it is released later this year…


There’s a lot of information to digest and I suggest that you first take a look at the Palm website where you’ll find features, details, screenshots, video and a gallery of images of this amazing Pre smartphone while I head over to the CES convention center to actually get my hands on one.

In the meantime, I’m naturally extremely curious to hear what your first thoughts on both the webOS and Pre smartphone are so please take a moment to share these with your fellow Treonauts via the survey below:

Palm Pre Smartphone & webOS
How impressed are you by Palm's new Pre smartphone and webOS?

  Ultra Cool: I'm so excited I wet my pants
  Super Cool: Could not be more excited
  Cool: Not bad but I wanted more
  Uncool: Thanks but no thanks

Treonauts are always ultra cool

Posted by Andrew on January 8, 2009 at 06:21 PM

Palm Pre

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» Meet the Palm Pre and new webOS from Mobility Mind
Palm has announced their new-ness : a new smartphone called the Palm Pre, powered by the new Palm OS called webOS (formerly code named Nova). Palm Pre (whats with the name?) certainly looks like a nice phone. I agree with Carlo ... [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 8, 2009 7:56:08 PM


by Joe | Jan 8, 2009 6:43:51 PM

It certainly looks promising, both hardware and software. Nice looking UI. Haven't seen mention yet about backward compatibility with Palm OS apps, that'll be an important point for current Palm customers.

Price will also be a key factor: as nice as the Palm offering might be, if they can't significantly undercut the price of iPhone, they'll be swimming upstream. Consumers buy what they know, and right now consumers know Apple and iPhone -- not so much Palm. (The iPod demonstrates this very well: even mighty Microsoft can't make much of a dent in the MP3 market, even though Zune is actually decent, and a bit less expensive than iPod. I would expect a similar challenge in the smartphone market.)

And... Sprint? Really? I'm sure Sprint wanted the US exclusive to help slow down their subscriber exodus, but that exclusive may prove costly to Palm.

Good luck to Palm, though, I'd love to see them succeed.

by dgarts | Jan 8, 2009 6:45:39 PM

Grand slam. Well done.

Granted, it's clear iPhone is "the standard". But it's also clear that Palm is doing some fresh innovative leader-like things.

Rumors of Palm's demise are greatly over exaggerated.

I'd like to hear more about garnet app compatibility, but I'm getting the impression Palm is leading it to the developer to make emulators etc, which is fine since it appears the new webOS will take away some opportunities for 3rd party apps (like search, which really sucked on the garnet, I used IntelligentFind).

Anyone who's read my posts know the #1 thing on my want list was a bigger screen. I was worried how they would do that yet retain a physical qwerty keyboard, and they've done it.

Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP. Wifi. Multitasking, multithreading (I like the "always live" nature of the "card metaphor").

Excellent seamless fluid UI. etc etc...

I'm happy to say it appears I'll be able to avoid jumping ship and continuing to manage my life's data on a Palm OS...

Now if we can only find out when it will be in GSM and when it will be in Canada...

by Rodney | Jan 8, 2009 7:39:40 PM

My concern is the GPS. It says data plan required and not available in all areas. Will the GPS be totally dependent on the carrier or will it be stand alone where you could use software like TomTom?

The rest of the phone looks awesome. I would love to have one but I am with ATT so don't know when it will be available.

by Treo Junky | Jan 8, 2009 7:42:08 PM

I want it... on Verizon!! Hopefully, Palm has not tethered themselves to Sprint for too long!

by gog8rs | Jan 8, 2009 8:22:19 PM

I am a longtime palm user/fan and have sprnt. I recently abandoned palm after the 700p for blackberry and winmo (again). I must say I'm downright giddy. How is the browser. That's my main question.

by comiken205 | Jan 8, 2009 8:34:34 PM

@gog8rs The whole phone is a web browser. That's why it is webOS. I am so giddy over this phone it isn't even funny. I am with Sprint (switched from Verizon), 4 lines and I am saving over $240 a year from the switch. I couldn't be happier with my switch and can't wait for the Palm Pre to hit the Sprint stores!

by Brian | Jan 8, 2009 8:37:46 PM

Palm comes through! Against all odds, the inventor of the smartphone just reinvented it.

Just get it on Verizon!

by cvb | Jan 8, 2009 8:39:04 PM

This was Judgement Day and we get:

- No Launch Date
- No Price
- Sprint Exclusive

Sprint could be bankrupt by the time Pre is even able to hit the streets.

I think the three points are enough for Mr. Reaper to pay a visit to Palm.


by Brian | Jan 8, 2009 8:42:24 PM

@ gog8rs--Engadget's hands-on report says that the Pre has the fastest browser of any mobile phone.

They are also saying things like "ultraslick OS," "more revolutionary than the iPhone," and "it cuts and pastes!" LOL! Try THAT on an iPhone!

by TP | Jan 8, 2009 9:24:53 PM

Given the time Palm took to develop this, I have little doubt webOS is going to be technically impressive.

The challenge now is to deliver the truly "nirvanic" mobile experience we all expected from Palm in its heyday before everything got horribly derailed.

They will have to step up their marketing savvy too - like it or not Apple raised the bar through the roof in this respect.

by NH_Lou | Jan 8, 2009 10:04:18 PM

I was anxiously awaiting the unveiling of the new Palm OS and it looks great. However, I am very disappointed they are offering this exclusively from Sprint. As a former Sprint customer, they were an absolute horrible service in my calling area and I'll never go back to them...

So does anyone know if WebOS can or will be available in other model phones for other providers such as VERIZON?

by gemmy | Jan 8, 2009 10:28:35 PM

maybe i'm the only one that feels this way, but i would rather see the slide out keyboard on the side....rather than the way it is...it makes the phone look bulky.

also, anyone have any idea when it's coming to sprint. orrr, when the treo pro is coming to sprint?

by BenJoeM | Jan 8, 2009 10:51:54 PM

slide out keyboard,really?

by the Wizard | Jan 8, 2009 10:51:54 PM

The Pre looks cool, but they need to get it over on VERIZON if they want to move some CDMA phones. Don't think Sprint is the horse I would be ridding. They are getting the Pro also..

Second if it doesn't have backwards compatability with exiting PALM software apps you might as well be starting from scratch with Apple or Windows Moble.


by Michael | Jan 8, 2009 11:27:29 PM


QUOTE: “Our intention was never to build an iPhone killer but to build a killer Palm product,” Mr. Rubinstein said in an interview.

CONGRATULATIONS, PALM!!! You have succeeded in NOT building an iPhone killer.

Another Zune

Possibly a Palm killer, though

R.I.P. Palm

by forgot | Jan 9, 2009 12:02:19 AM

@Michael Wow, it seems your really clued in on the mobile community as a whole. Thanks so much for your post.

by Ola Hammond | Jan 9, 2009 12:11:40 AM

Agree with Michael and raise you one. Not just a poor copy, but only web based? come on? unable to run any non-web software, no memory expansion: another disaster in the making:

LifeDrive (deathdrive), Foleo (folded), Pre (Pre-morbid)

My beloved palm has deserted us! and yes, themselves.

by John Whorfin | Jan 9, 2009 12:57:33 AM

"Pre"? As in "before"? Pre-what, exactly? "Pre Smartphone"? The name implies we're still waiting for something else, something better. Man, what a stupid name.

Anyway, it's still vaporware until it actually ships, and Palm was notably conspicuous in not announcing a ship date - nor even a price. Neither is a good sign. (I hereby bet all of you it'll be overpriced, as in not cost-competitive to an iPhone.)

And it's Sprint-exclusive? That seems like a tacit admission that they're ceding the GSM market to iPhone and Blackberry, and relegating themselves to niche status. iPhone and Blackberry owners aren't going to switch phones AND carriers for a "Pre", even if the Pre's cheaper (which it won't be).

Oh, and none of the existing Palm apps work on it. Meanwhile, there's zero buzz about developers flocking to this new OS. (And there's painfully little info about the OS, its stability and performance.)

Other than that, it sure is pretty, wireless charging is cool, and I like the combo big screen and slide-out physical keyboard. But it's too little too late.

Two years ago this product would've been revolutionary. But in the harsh light of 2009 it just looks like a belated attempt to play catch up to the iPhone.

by cvb | Jan 9, 2009 4:42:52 AM

Newsweek article on the History of Pre/Palm webOS:


"Will this kill the iPhone?" question is the first one everyone asks about any new high-end mobile phone today. And the answer is, well, probably not. Not because the Pre isn't terrific—it is—but because Apple's brand is so powerful, and because Apple has sold 13 million iPhones, and because there are 10,000 applications already written for the iPhone.”

Do you think Apple’s just sitting around? What’s the new iPhone in 6 months going to feature? And at what price?

Palm needed to release now, go universal (not Sprint Exclusive) and be price competitive.

Here’s Palm’s price plan:

“My assumption is that Palm (PALM) would try to take market share by coming in significantly lower than the $200 or so Apple wants for its iPhone. But when I ran that theory by Palm CEO Ed Colligan, he looked at me liked I’d peed on his rug. “Why would we do that when we have a significantly better product,” he asked, then walked away.”



by Will Stevenson | Jan 9, 2009 5:46:54 AM

It will be interesting to see what is in store for Tasks/Memos functionality and what they plan to provide in lieu of Palm Desktop.

This is what has kept me from moving to WiMo and iPhone.

by Jaman | Jan 9, 2009 5:52:31 AM

No GSM unlocked? WTF? DAMN U PALM !

still using my 650... because it's UNLOCKED and GSM which the world uses...

get a frigging clue!

You COULD be an iphone killer but once again we're left with exclusivity deals like apple did with at&t and now palm with sprint and dell and intel and ad infinitum....

exclusivity deals are the bane of capitalism...

The cellphone frequencies are public use and there should be no exclusivity deals allowed... wish the fcc would step in.

Secondly, there's no reason cdma is so exclusive they can make their phones interchangeable as well with SIM chips like gsm. The technology isn't expensive, but stupid consumers don't bother to learn anything. They don't because stupid Americans continue to buy one cdma phone and are locked to a network forever.

by RG | Jan 9, 2009 6:39:21 AM

I am really excited about it, mainly because it is small, elegant, and has a BIG SCREEN with querty. Also, I'm not worried about development because anyone that has a little knowledge on html can develop an app, if I got it right. So it has the simplicity and lightness that brought me to palm in the first place.

I will have to wait and see if it is going to be exclusive here before I start worring about that.

The two things that make me really worried are the rumors about the price and that I haven't seen any card slot there. 8 giga is a lot of space for palm, but I would like to have the option.

All and all, I think this is a great product. I hope this works out.

by Jim | Jan 9, 2009 8:59:52 AM

I am excited about the phone, its beautiful. I don't really care if its downwardly compatible with Palm OS apps, or not. Sometimes you have to discard the ball-and-chain of your past technology to move on. I don't care if it costs more than the iPhone, or if its an iPhone killer. Its a brilliant new phone from Palm. Folks that say its not innovative are mistaken. Just because it has elements from other desktop and mobile platforms you have seen doesn't mean the combination of them, or the use of them in combination, is not innovative.

by Orlo | Jan 9, 2009 9:09:00 AM

Add my vote for a Verizon version, but soon. My 700p is showing its age, and the only reason I haven't jumped ship to iPhone/AT&T was the teasers for this "new revolutionary smartphone"....still waiting. I have loads of garnet apps that may now become obsolete, unless StyleTap comes thru with an emulation (wish they would also release their "proof of concept" emulator for the iPhone). Why they stuck with an exclusive contract with Sprint is beyond me, as they continnue to bleed subscribers (I was one of them (had it for 10+ yrs)....service sucks in my area and seemingly everywhere I traveled).
Didn't they learn from the Apple/ATT fiasco about exclusivity? How long until someone unlocks this phone?

by Car Nut | Jan 9, 2009 9:19:39 AM

Don't forget that many busineses go after these phones too! My company has hundreds of cell phones and a significant percentage of them have been upgraded recently to the Storm. As a major voice with these cell phones, I've held out hope for today. Sprint? Only Sprint?? Only 20 to 25 percent of cell phone users are being targeted???

Does Palm not understand that most people are fairly loyal to a specific carrier, or rather are steadfast on not using one carrier or another? Why couldn't they at least start out with the big three (Verizon, Sprint, AT&T)?

We've been waiting nearly 2 years for the new Palm OS and Palm has not announced to the world that you can only get the new OS through Sprint. We are left to believe and hope that other carriers may be added too, but in the typical time fraam of 6 to 18 months.

Goodbye Palm. Goodbye Treo. Goodbye Centro. Goodbye Pre.

I'll be naive for another month, but Palm has missed the mark big time with so little information: price, launch date, compatibility answers, and possible future carrier expansion.

Maybe I'll change my mind later, but this is my initial reaction. What a sad day this is for the Palm loyalists.

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