Palm Unveils 'Pre' Smartphone

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 8, 2009 6:03 PM CST

(Newser) – Palm unveiled a new smartphone today, the Pre, which it hopes will compete with the iPhone and restore the company’s place in the market, the New York Times reports. Industry experts say it won't be easy. The Pre has a touchscreen, 8 gigs of storage, and a new operating system designed for fast websurfing. Palm says it will “redefine the center of your access point to the Internet.”

The Pre will be available “as soon as possible,” at an undisclosed price and exclusively from Sprint. Palm touted the operating system, saying it "gives us the opportunity to innovate the way Google does. This product is just the starting point.” But a new luxury device is always a tough sell in a souring economy. “Palm finds itself in a very difficult situation,” one analyst said. “They’re flying into a headwind here.”

Palm Inc. Senior Director of Human Interface and [User] Experience Matias Duarte demonstrates the Palm Web OS platform on the new Palm Pre handset.
Palm Inc. Senior Director of Human Interface and [User] Experience Matias Duarte demonstrates the Palm Web OS platform on the new Palm Pre handset.   (AP Photo)
The Pre is demonstrated.
The Pre is demonstrated.   (AP Photo)
The iPhone will be Palm's toughest competitor.
The iPhone will be Palm's toughest competitor.   (AP Photo)
BlackBerry is also a competitor.
BlackBerry is also a competitor.   (AP Photo)
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The default thinking of this platform isn’t to hook up to a desktop PC, it is to connect to the cloud. - Palm CEO and president Ed Colligan

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