Mini WebOS Device in the Works?
Michael Arrington of TechCrunch is reporting some news that has should come as no great surprise to anyone monitoring the Palm rumors over the past four months. Citing an anonymous source, TechCrunch is reporting that a "second Pre-like device" is going to arrive sometime later in the year, possibly even this fall.
The rumored device is never specifically referenced as a smartphone within the article but will supposedly address a "different part of the market". It is said to be smaller than the existing Pre and will of course run Palm's new WebOS. The source did not confirm if the device would run on CDMA or GSM networks or if it would feature a physical keyboard.
In what could be a bit of a stretch, yet not entirely out of the realm of plausibility, Palm could be readying a spin-off product akin to Apple's iPod Touch. The stillborn Foleo aside, such a device would be a return to the company's PDA roots and would be Palm's first non-phone device in four years. A "Pre Touch" would be a relatively inexpensive device for Palm to produce. This type of handheld would also serve as a nice way for users and developers alike to dip a toe into the WebOS waters. Also, a non-phone product would allow Palm to gain a chunk of sales from customers unwilling or unable to switch to Sprint while also helping shore up Palm's greatly diminished retail presence.
Assuming the device in question is still a smartphone, then TechCrunch's "mini-Pre" is presumably the same one mentioned to us back in January. You may recall our CES "scoop" from a tipster apparently well-connected within the industry who claimed a "Centro 2" was in the works as Palm's second WebOS device. In all of the hoopla in Vegas that week, this unsubstantiated report was rather easy to overlook. In fact, we almost dismissed it entirely due to the rumor occurring so soon after the Pre launch. Few other details were mention to us at the time, but the tipster did say this "Centro 2" would also debut on Sprint and would not feature a physical keyboard.