The Palm Pre

A new Palm was announced at CES 2009 to give Palm the hope that they still have a future. It was essentially the last chance they had to stay alive. They started at a share price of $3.00 and ended up at $4.50. They definitely didn’t disappoint after releasing their newest device, the Palm Pre.

The Palm Pre is a smart phone that is about the size of an iPod Classic and a bit thicker than a iPhone. It has a large touch screen with a 320 x 480 resoloution. The screen also supports multi-touch, which makes for a much more intiutive user experience. We don’t know much about the CPU, other than that its  TI’s new OMAP CPU, but Palm is promising “laptop style power.”

Other specs include 8gb of storage, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth with A2DP, 3Mega-Pixel camera, normal headphone jack, and even an optional wireless recharging system. For the moment, the phone is exclusively for Sprint in the US,Palm Pre however Palm has said they will be producing a GSM version for release outside of the US.

By far the most exciting part of the phone however, is the new OS – Palm’s WebOS platform. All of the apps are coded using CSS, HTML, XML and Javascript, meaning the number of potential developers for the platform is massive. The OS also has an intersting take on multi-tasking – by allowing the user to have as many applications as they want running in the background, and letting them thumb through them, like a deck of cards. To stop running an application, simply swipe the application off the screen.

The new WebOS is also even more connected to the internet than ever. A partnership with Facebook means that your contact list on the phone will always be updated whenever your friends change any details automatically, also taking data from Google and Outlook. The Synergy sync system ensures that there are no duplicate contacts.

Before CES, Palm was very much on its last legs – sales of its phones were way down and no one really expected anything special from Palm. With this new announcement however, I think Palm has completly changed the game with this new phone. While I wouldn’t go so far as to call it an iPhone killer, its definitly a viable contender against it – and we all know competition is good for the consumer, forcing companies to innovate. With these new platforms like Andriod and WebOS, Apple may be forced to bring its own mobile OS into line with these newer ones, for example by opening it up to developers. Needless to say, I personally am very excited about the future of mobile computing.

[Photo from Engadget]

Palm’s Official Press Release

Engadget’s In-Depth Impressions, with some great videos and information

The Palm Pre

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