Palm developing new webOS Device for release this year

Palm is expected to launch webOS devices on AT&T in the next few months. These phones will likely be variants of the existing models, likely the Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus. Now comes word via the Wall St. Journal (subscription required) that “those familiar with Palm’s situation” say that Palm is developing a brand new phone for later this year. This news shouldn’t come as a big surprise, but it’s the first somewhat official confirmation we’ve seen regarding a new webOS device. Given the events of the last 24 hours, this certainly comes as encouraging news.

Now that we sort-of know that a new webOS device awaits. What does the next generation Palm webOS device need to boost sales and remain competitive against Android, iPhone and the coming Windows Series 7 Phones. Let us know in the comments.

via WSJ


  1. Along the lines of a HD2 with a keyboard running webOS…


  2. - a 4″ to 5″ (of course, capacitative touch-enabled) screen

    – Processor at least as powerful as the upcoming (not yet announced) iPhone

    – Much enhanced battery life

    – Proper amount of memory

    – Obviously, run WebOS

    – Equally as arresting hardware design as that of the current models

    – Have (many) more applications available

    – Be sold both via carriers & separately, and be SIM-unlocked

    – Use SIM cards and have a wider distribution (including Benelux)

    – I would gladly buy one if migrating most App Store purchases (3rd party software for iPhone) to WebOS was possible, ideally at no charge.

    – Retention of affordable prices for 3rd party Palm applications

    – Expansion of 3rd party Palm apps (to include TomTom, Navigon & many more applications)

  3. Well first off, this is a bit of good news (I have been somewhat depressed about all this today, lol). Although as a firt gen Pre owner, I am on Sprint. So it’d be kind of a bummer if it was only on AT&T. But as long as it’s something amazing, which it would have to be (no lag, higher res screen, and a hundred other things), hopefully it can save Palm. I love webOS a lot, and it’d be a major shame to see it go, especially completely.

  4. says:

    A new WebOS device has to be bigger in size. At least a 3.5 screen with a slider keyboard and a virtual one. People are coming to expect that on touch screen phones now. Also has to have built in compass, autofocus 5mp camera, voice dialing and searching through out the phone, true cut and paste through out the phone including 3rd party apps. Hopefully a faster processor utilizing the GUI so that the sluggishness of the current WebOS phones will be gone. Hopefully Palm knocks the next device out of the park because truly WebOS is a awesome operating system!

  5. I totally agree with Art. If Palm doesn’t do something, I will be moving to Droid. I have been patient enuf with Palm and my growing frustration is with the Hardware, Software and Apps. The Facebook App is a total joke. If Palm is going to make it, they must focus on better hardware and Apps. I will so leave them.

  6. I agree with you Art… and it needs to come out by June. BuI think this new device is going to be the C40 that has been link to Sprint.

  7. *But I think this new device is going to be the C40 that has been link to Sprint.

  8. Art the applications are the work of the developers not palm…

  9. Everything metioned above plus a front facing web cam with sykpe. Why because it is new and not done before and would put palm in a class of it’s own and they could charge more for it, more profits. Plus it would beat apple to the punch

  10. Larger screen, 4GB capability, on Sprint first, more memory, voice dialing a must, front and rear camera, WebOS and everything Art said.

  11. A task application that syncs categories and a stylus to enable drawing / business applications. I mean really, how can the successor to the Palm Pilot have great Exchange support and convergence features with simple UI and still fall short as a PIM? Who do they think is buying these things?

  12. 1 – As beautiful and masterful as webOS is(notifications/multi-tasking/webbrowsing/PIM,) the iphone’s OS, from 3 years ago, is still markedly more responsive :|. Fix that.

    2 – scratch resistant glass screen

    3 – larger screen

    4 – 5 MP Camera

    5 – Output to TV, High Def would be awesome

    6 – Wireless file transfer via Charging Dock

    7 – Better Battery Performance or a Bigger Battery

  13. @ChinnoDog I agree on task categories…but you aren’t likely to see pen based input. That is long gone. Plenty of people use the iPhone for business.

    I notice a lot of people want a bigger screen, am I the only one who seems to love the Pre form factor exactly as it is? Aside from maybe a landscape keyboard instead of the current portrait. The only thing I would change is make it better quality.

    However, since i’m in the minority, I’d settle for something as large as the htc hero.

    And snapdragon would be awesome, but let’s be honest here, webOS needs some serious optimization as well. I don’t know what else they can squeeze out, but the HTC Hero and every single iPhone smack it around for speed and “fluidity.” I know they won’t waste too mcuh time fixing the OS for older processors, and will hope new processors make up for it… but they need to not forget to optimize the hell out of it.

  14. @linh & chinnodog: I am with linh on the form factor–the pre’s size and shape had a LOT to do with why I bought the phone–i cary my phone in my front pocket most of the time, and I don’t want a big bulky slab to haul around. Agreed that a landscape keyboard would be nicer than the pre’s portrait design, and the keys could use some help, but I hope they always keep at least one or two small form factor phones around.

  15. My guesses:

    480×800 3.5″ touchscreen (either AMOLED or LCD)

    512 megabytes of RAM (The pre plus can have more cards open than is necessary. Any upgrade in this would probably not help much…it should, however, be faster)

    4G compatibility would be nice, but Palm needs to make money, so they probably won’t spend the extra money on it.

    As for the processor, they will probably use a cortex A9, considering that they already have a relationship with TI. Dual-core would make for awesome multi-tasking, but the battery life would probably suffer (one can dream though). If the hardware supported turn off cores via power gates, then they could probably pull it off.

    No idea on the GPU

    The slightly larger form factor would probably allow them to fit a larger battery (1400-1500 mAh anyone?). If they do embrace 4G, however, then the battery will probably need to be in the 1700-2000mAh range (more data = less battery life)

    Hardware keyboard obviously, but one could hope for a software one too for when you just need to tap out something short.

    I have faith in you Palm…go for it

  16. Thank everybody for your comments.
    Let’s help Palm with their R&D a little.

    Would you like to see a glass screen – or a plastic one? My experience with glass screens (our household has 2 iPhone 3Gs) is outstanding: it’s chique, it’s elegant, it’s very sensitive to touch.

    My iphone has survived accidental falls and tumbles (incl. on escalator stairs, metal – and a drop with the screen hitting my bicycle’s clipless pedal. In contrast, the plastic screen of its predecessor, a Samsung phone, cracked upon impact one-tenth as hard two years ago). I assure those who’ve no experience with glass screen phones – although by now most have, I think – that these are easily as tough as the best plastics, but have much better properties in most respects, and are a delight to use.

    If so, let me add:

    – A glass screen! Similar to iPhones, but even somewhat larger. Not long and narrow, but larger.

    – A compass (your idea,, but most ad rem! Indispensable.)

    – Software keyboard to be at least as convenient and pretty as iPhone’s (in other words, utilise the WebOS- innovative factor & aesthetics &) Additionally, a system-wide implementation of ShapeWriter (Pro), Swype or SlideIT would do very well.

    @Chris: I know, Chris. But Palm could, at least to a measure, stimulate the developers. Some have the integrity to have a purchaser of the application on one platform procure it at no charge, others will be reluctant, I understand. Palm could coax them into co-operating a little, I hope.

  17. I think the current design is great. Maybe make it a little more sturdy in the slider department. I wonder if they could make it a little thinner/smaller? Do NOT make it bigger. Most of the annoying things for me about phones today are:
    1) They are too BIG. All you wanting a bigger device, shush. The iPhone compared to the Pre, and all the touch screens coming out of Korea looks like a brick. But if that’s what you want, call AT&T, lol. The river rock design is great. Don’t mess with it.
    2) Too LOUD. Why can’t we ever turn the volume down on these things?
    3) Too bright (for night use).

    Speed it up, save some power, and keep right on going with what you got :). Call it the Pre Plus Plus, or the Post, (get it? Pre and Post), whatever you want.

  18. Another suggestion:

    – A case incorporating solar charger cells (akin to the idea “patented” by Apple. I think this mustn’t be a problem since solar charging panels are not Apple’s invention).

  19. Wow! Solar charging that’s one i hadn’t thought about and would get a lot of media attention.

    I think from a hardware perspective they need to best the Nexus, Samsung’s new phones, and the next iPhone. Which means it needs a Snapdragon or faster processor, larger screen, better camera (is it me or did the camera quality improve when we got Video this weekend?), compass, etc.

    I’d like an SD card and/or a larger “drive”. I thought they were going to go like Apple and have 8/16 an 32 GB versions of the Pre. Without that they might as well have put a micro SD card in it with support for as big as technology allows (64GB)?

    I definitely want them to keep the hardware keyboard, the simplicity of the keyboard is one of the things that sets them apart from the others.

    Oh, and they need to support Sprints 4G coming out this summer.

    Bottom line is ALL aspects of the hardware have to push the envelope Hard!

    Software wise they need to become 100% compatible with HTML5 and CSS3 (although this latest update is huge, check out this totally CSS animation which doesn’t work in all desktop browsers [FireFox, IE] and didn’t work on the Pre until 1.4

    I would like to also see a desktop application for media synchronization (and even application data synchronization). A partnership with Media Monkey or WinAmp would be great.

    And like everyone said above there needs to be improvement in responsiveness and reliablity and the “Sorry too many Cards” message needs to be eliminated.

  20. This unannounced device HAS to be able to connect to Sprint’s 4G network!!!

  21. sell in asia, please…

  22. I am also patiently waiting for this next generation Palm device. I have a Palm Centro and know it looks outdated but it is very fluid in it’s functionality. I’ve been exploring with my husband’s Pre and based on the comparison on those two and with iPhone’s success in mind, here are a few ideas from the older device (Centro) that I think could be brought back, but of course with improved (cooler) aesthetics (like the iPhone):

    -There should be shortcuts for volume and contrast adjustments

    -Bring back real shortcut buttons to Calendar, Home, Phone, and Camera so that you can go right to these functions without having to press the Power button – similar to the Centro but with a cooler design.

    -Glass screen

    -Optimize it for reading books (and then advertise how great the Kobo app looks on it)

    -Need an on-screen keyboard similar to the iPhone’s and perhaps do away with the slide-out keypad…it’s somewhat awkward to hold when it’s open

    -There should be a desktop sync built in. This is especially important for backing up photos

    -I also miss the desktop sync for the other things like calendar and notes and would appreciate Palm bringing this back in addition to the Cloud sync

    -Make it longer. My husband’s Pre tends to slip out of both of our hands. I think making it longer would provide a better grip.

    -Advertise the online App store and make it the same as the one on the phone.

    Some compliments for the Palm Pre
    -GPS is GREAT!
    -Really appreciate the responsiveness of the camera
    -Really like the ability to erase data remotely in the event the phone is lost

  23. First, I just want to say, I, like others here, am seriously considering getting the upcoming HTC Supersonic which will run on Sprint & is powered by Google’s Android. BUT, if Palm were to make a phone to make me re-consider, I’d like to see it have:
    -more customization options, like the ability to change the system font like on the Blackberry Storm.
    -better Apps (work with the developers to entice them to build apps for WebOS, including corporate apps from Chipotle, Men’s Health, etc)
    -it has to look good!

  24. I’d like to see Palm break some new ground and come up with a phone that has a 4″ edge-to-edge glass screen (in other words make the entire surface the screen with little to no border), a 5MP+ camera with flash, light and moderately fast and have expandable storage. A decent set of speakers for quality sound when it’s on your desk playing music/movies and an adapter for displayport or hdmi would be cool as well. Of course any WebOS tweaks to make it even slightly faster even on current chips is a bonus.

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