Palm's 'Pre' Set to Compete with iPhone

Dennis Faas's picture

Palm recently unveiled their response to the Apple iPhone: the Pre. Among its many features is a new operating system supporting the device (Palm WebOS) and an iPhone-like touch-screen.

The Pre uses a sophisticated interface which self-charges on a special platform without the need to attach a cable. The device also boasts 8GB of storage, GPS navigation, WiFi networking and a sliding mini-keyboard. (Source:

Despite always being regarded as a major contender in the smartphone industry, Palm has suffered many recent setbacks, including the 2007 cancellation of their much-anticipated Foleo project; a kind of Linux-based notebook computer intended as a companion for all brands of smartphones (though it only actually ever supported Windows Mobile or Palm OS-based Treos).

Analysts believe other issues may hinder the Pre in 2009. Aside from being released amidst an economic downturn, many doubt that Palm will be able to get third-party developers to create programs that will work with the Palm WebOS operating system. These same companies are more likely to invest their efforts in more popular BlackBerry and iPhone devices.

Despite these growing concerns, investors responded well to the unveiling. Palm stocks rose $1.15 (35 percent) with a final market price of $4.45/share; still not the best news when you consider Palm stocks sold for $14/share only two years ago. (Source:

The good news? Palm might have an "ace-in-the-hole" with their network carrier, Sprint. Hoping to entice potential consumers to switch early, Sprint claims to be the most dependable high-speed data network in existence; an obvious jab at the problems some iPhone users are facing with their network, AT&T.

While no release date or retail price has yet to be announced, Palm has expressed their desire to have the Pre ready within 6 months.

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