Today at CES 2009 in Las Vegas, Palm launched their new mobile operating system, webOS, and promised the first device running webOS, the "Pre" smartphone, will be available on Sprint sometime in the first half of 2009. Exact timing depends at least partly on FCC and carrier certification, but you can bet Sprint will be eager to get this thing into its stores.
Some key features of the new webOS, according to Palm's presentation:
Internet-centric, integrated throughout all functions (e.g., search)
Synergy technology combines contacts from online accounts (e.g., Facebook, Gmail) and local applications (e.g., Outlook), aggregates and syncs them on the phone, and eliminates duplicates
All-new multi-instance web browser (buh-bye, Blazer)
A notifications bar
Integrated SMS and IM (via Synergy)
The Pre smartphone lists some impressive hardware specs:
320x480 HVGA multi-touch screen
Slide-out QWERTY keyboard
Rollerball for one-handed input
Bluetooth with A2DP wireless audio
8GB of internal flash memory (can act as USB host)
Texas Instruments' latest OMAP processor
EV-DO Rev. A
Full-sized 3.5mm headphone jack
3MP camera with flash
Removable battery (take that, Apple!)
And to just round out the wow factor, the Pre will
come with be compatible with an optional wireless charger. Yes, wireless charger. You won't "plug in" the Pre, you'll just sit it on the Touchstone charging base and, through the magic of inductive power transmission, the phone will be recharged.
All in all, a very impressive new offering for Palm. If they can execute on this and get it into Sprint's stores quickly, they'll be well-positioned for a comeback.