Sunday, May 31, 2009

1SRC Podcast 211

The latest 1SRC Podcast has been posted for your listening enjoyment.

This week, on the 1SRC Podcast, I cover:


  • All of the Sprint Palm Pre documents are leaked on the Internet.
  • Palm demonstrates additional features of Palm webOS.
  • ComputerWorld's Top 5 Pre cool features.

Download 1SRC Podcast 211 enhanced edition...
Subscribe to the enhanced 1SRC Podcast feed...
Read the transcript for 1SRC Podcast 211...
Discuss 1SRC Podcast 211...

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

New Palm webOS Features Demonstrated

Palm's PR department dropped us a line earlier today to let us know about some of the cool new features that are going to be included in Palm webOS, the new mobile operating system that will power Palm's Pre smartphone.

Palm Unveils More webOS Details: Palm Media Sync, Twitter Integration, App Catalog

CARLSBAD, Calif., May 28, 2009 -- Today at The Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital conference, Palm, Inc. (Nasdaq: PALM) introduced attendees to the latest features of the Palm® webOS™ platform, including Palm media sync, the integration of Twitter in universal search, and a beta version of its App Catalog. Jon Rubinstein, Palm executive chairman, and Roger McNamee, Palm director and co-founder of Elevation Partners, debuted the new webOS features, which will be available on the new Palm Pre™ phone when it launches June 6 on Sprint’s mobile broadband network.

Palm Media Sync

Palm media sync is a feature of webOS that synchronizes seamlessly with iTunes, giving you a simple and easy way to transfer DRM-free music, photos and videos to your Palm Pre. Simply connect Pre to your PC or Mac via the USB cable, select “media sync” on the phone, and iTunes will launch on your computer desktop. You can then choose which DRM-free media files to transfer.
“We designed Palm media sync to be an easy and elegant way for you to take the content you own and put it on Pre, and it’s just one of the ways we think you’ll be amazed by webOS,” said Rubinstein. “We’ve had an overwhelming response since we introduced Pre at CES, and with availability just days away, we can’t wait to let everyone see firsthand what the excitement is all about.”
Pre also acts as a mass storage drive, letting you side-load your media content. Once connected to a computer using the USB cable, Pre will appear as a drive on the computer desktop. You can drag and drop music, photos or video files onto your Pre, or drag files from your Pre to the computer. And, just like a digital camera, Pre works directly with your computer’s default desktop photo software to seamlessly import photos captured with Pre’s built-in 3-megapixel camera.

In addition to listening to music transferred from your desktop, you can use the on-device Amazon MP3 store to purchase individual songs or full albums over-the-air. You can search by artist, song and genre, and preview and purchase music files. You can then download purchased tracks when you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Twitter in Universal Search

Palm also announced that Twitter search is integrated into webOS universal search. Universal search is about finding what you want quickly, whether it’s an on-device contact to call, a place you’re trying to get to, or a Wikipedia article for encyclopedic information. Just start typing and Pre will figure out if you’re looking for a contact, an application, or even let you search the web via Google, Google Maps, Wikipedia and now Twitter. Universal search uses Twitter’s search service to sort through real-time current events and news, so universal search now covers every aspect of search on the web: general info, location, encyclopedia, and news.

Twitter’s ability to show what’s going on right now is a perfect fit for what universal search and Pre are all about. You don’t have to be a Twitter user to benefit from Twitter in universal search. It’s available for all users, even if they don’t have an account, so anyone can keep on top of real-time news and the latest trends.

App Catalog

Rubinstein and McNamee also gave conference attendees an advance look at the beta version of the App Catalog, which will be available on Pre at launch. The beta version will feature applications from developers such as AP News, Citysearch, Fandango, Pandora and uLocate.
“We’ve received excellent feedback from participants in the Mojo SDK early access program and look forward to the SDK’s public release. Developers are very enthusiastic about the platform’s ease of use and industry-standard development model,” said Rubinstein. “We’re excited to launch Pre with the beta version of the catalog, which will give a taste of how the overall webOS ecosystem will work.”

The App Catalog was demonstrated at the conference using Fandango’s webOS application, which takes advantage of Palm Synergy™, a key feature of webOS. It also uses Pre’s location-based services to find theaters near you, and lets you watch trailers, buy tickets, add showtimes to your calendar and get directions to the theater. Also included in the beta App Catalog will be Pandora, which makes use of the platform’s multitasking capabilities, running elegantly in the background while you’re using other applications. It highlights a unique aspect of the notification bar that lets you know what song is currently playing, and control pause and play without having to go back into the application.

The Palm Pre phone will be available from Sprint on June 6 for $199.99 with a two-year service agreement and $100 mail-in rebate. More information is available at www.sprint.com/palmpre and www.palm.com.

You can check out some of these new features in action on the All Things Digital videos page.

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Greatest. Pre. Commercial. Ever!

If you haven't seen this Pre "commercial" of Roger McNamee poking fun at himself, you are doing yourself a disservice.




And just remember kids, the Pre eats iPhones for breakfast!

If you have no idea what I'm talking about or why I think this video is so funny, you have to go back and watch this video of Roger shortly after the Palm Pre was unveiled back in January at this year's CES show.

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Palm to Appear at All Things Digital

Jimmie over at GadgetsOnTheGo.net is reporting that Palm will be making an appearance at this year's All Things Digital conference. Walt Mossberg, of the Wall Street Journal fame, has been quoted as saying:
"The Palm guys are coming, they not are only going to come and talk in more detail about the Palm Pre than you have seen before, but they're actually going to introduce some things that haven't even been speculated, that the Palm Pre is going to be able to do, that haven't even been speculated on the blogs and they're going to show some cool features."



Let's hope that this appearance at "D" is better than Palm's last high-profile appearance when they wanted to talk about their last "new" device, the Palm Foleo.

[Via GadgetsOnTheGo.net...]

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BGR Posts First Impressions of the Palm Pre

BoyGeniusReport.com has a Palm Pre first impressions article up this morning.

Of the new smartphone, BGR writes:
"The screen is really responsive and blends right in with the casing — awesomely executed and the capacitive touch is so damn beautiful. We’d rate it just behind the iPhone but in front of the T-Mobile G1 as far as screens go."
That's some really good news about the display on the device that will reboot Palm. However, BGR isn't as excited about the slider keyboard and exterior shell. Again, the author writes:
"The Pre feels really good in your hand in terms of size and shape, but there’s a real plasticky aura about it. Additionally, things aren’t looking good for that QWERTY either. When you try and type on the top row of keys, your finger hits the bottom part of the front piece and on top of that, you often hit multiple keys at the same time while typing."
You can read the full article and check out some photos of the device on the BoyGeniusReport website.

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Rumor: A Pair of AT&T Phones Get Leaked

Engadget is reporting that AT&T has some new phone goodness headed our way for the back half of 2009.

If the frenzy around the Palm Pre coming to Sprint in just about 9 days doesn't make your head spin, Palm fans should get ready for the Palm Eos which is expected to show up on AT&T. Eos is expected to replace the last Palm OS smartphone currently on the market, the Palm Centro. From the slides that Engadget got their hands on, we have now officially leared that Eos' code name was the long rumored "Castle" smartphone.


Andorid fans should get ready for the new HTC Qwerty slider, Lancaster. This GSM "consumer social messageing device" should get the under 30 crowd lining up at their local AT&T stores in early August if the rumors are correct and everything falls into place between now and then.

You can read the Palm Eos and HTC Lancaster articles over on Engadget.

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Palm Pre Documentation Leaked

With less than two weeks to go before the Palm Pre smartphone goes on sale from Sprint, all of the Pre's documentation has leaked out on to the Internet.

SprintGurus.com has managed to get their hands on the Pre's Getting Start and User Guides as well as the Pre Fact Sheet and Features Guide.

Can't wait to get your hands on the Pre? You can download the documentation from the SprintGurus.com forums. (Warning: Registration required to download.)

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Pre Gets Detailed In Leaked Sprint Guide

The Sprint Palm Pre launch guide for business customers has been leaked and in the process, even more details about the Pre have been detailed.

In the 23-page document, we learn that:
  • Pre has a SRP of $549.99
  • Support for Exchange Server EAS for PIM data synching
  • Inviting people to meetings is not supported from the Pre
  • Global Address Book lookup is supported
  • Support for SSL encryption of Exchange Server email
  • The Touchstone charger will cost $69.99
  • A Palm vehicle charger ($31.99) and travel charger ($34.99) will also be available
  • The current 450 minute Sprint Everything Data plan will be available for $69.99/month
  • You must purchase a voice and data plan; SERO plans will not be allowed
  • Pre will be an exchange only phone, no repairs will be done on site
  • Documents To Go will be bundled in ROM to provide viewing capabilities
  • Documents To Go will include editing capabilities in a future release (date TBD)
  • You will be required to create a Palm profile account (required for multiple services)
  • Software will be installed OTA only
  • Palm will provide an OTA backup application/service
  • A "kill pill" can be issued from a customers Palm profile web page
The leaked Sprint launch guide offers and interesting list of details that haven't previously been talked about by Palm or Sprint. The inclusion of Documents To Go is a major plus. That is one application that I can't live without and it my daily "go to" application.

I also like the idea behind the Palm profile. It sounds a lot like the now defunct MyPalm portal where customers where able to install applications to their device over the air (OTA), including the then beta Palm Backup application. From the new information gleaned from this document, it does sound as if the information that Palm learned from the beta tests of the MyPalm portal and Backup application will be leveraged to make the Pre and Palm webOS expereince even better for customers.

There is a lot to like about the new Palm Pre. I'm definately excited to get my hands on one of these phones and take it out for a test drive.

[Via PreCentral.com Forums...]

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

DataViz on Twitter






I was just reading that DataViz Twitter page. You can really glean some interesting information from that feed. But not enough to make me sign up for an account just yet.

DataViz Twitter page...

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Pre Gets a Release Date

Palm and Sprint have finally revealed that Saturday, June 6th, will be the official launch date for the Pre smartphone. The Pre is first device to be powered by Palm's new mobile operating system, Palm webOS.

"Sprint today announced pricing and nationwide availability for the highly anticipated Palm Pre phone, offered exclusively from Sprint. Palm Pre will be available nationwide on June 6 in Sprint stores, Best Buy, Radio Shack, select Wal-Mart stores and online at Sprint.com for $199.99 with a two-year service agreement and after a $100 mail-in rebate. Running on the new Palm webOS mobile platform, Pre brings together your important information from where it resides – on your phone, at your work or on the web – into one logical view."

“The argument that you need one phone for work and another phone for play, or that you have to make compromises between business and lifestyle productivity, is over,” said Dan Hesse, president and CEO of Sprint. “With Pre, compromises of the past are history.”

“The Palm Pre takes full advantage of Sprint’s Everything Data plans,” said Avi Greengart, research director for Consumer Devices at Current Analysis. “The Pre has been expressly designed for multitasking among multiple web pages and applications. It also builds on Palm’s heritage in PDAs by managing your digital information – whether that’s on a corporate server or on the web.”

“Pre is truly a new phone for a new web-centric age,” said Ed Colligan, Palm president and chief executive officer. “We’re a mobile society, and we want our people, calendars and information to move with us. With Pre’s exquisite design and the unique webOS software, running on Sprint’s fast broadband network, we’re changing the perception of what a wireless phone can be.”

Also debuting with the Pre is the Synergy synchronization engine that is built in to Palm webOS.

The new webOS platform introduces Palm Synergy, a key feature that brings together your personal and professional calendar, contacts and e-mail into one centralized view, making transitions between work and personal life smooth and easy to manage.

With Palm Synergy, users get:

  • Linked contacts – With Synergy, you have a single view that links your contacts from a variety of sources, so accessing them is easier than ever. For example, if you have the same contact listed in your Outlook(3), Google and Facebook accounts, Synergy recognizes that they’re the same person and links the information, presenting it to you as one listing.

  • Layered calendars – Your calendars can be seen on their own or layered together in a single view, combining work, family, friends, sports teams, or other interests. You can toggle to look at one calendar at a time, or see them all at a glance.

  • Combined messaging – Synergy lets you see all your conversations with the same person in a chat-style view, even if it started in IM and you want to reply with text messaging. You can also see who’s active in a buddy list right from contacts or e-mail, and start a new conversation with just one touch.

Pricing and Availability

The Palm Pre phone will be available from Sprint on June 6 for $199.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate with a new two-year service agreement on an Everything Data plan or Business Essentials with Messaging and Data plan. An array of compelling accessories also will be available for Pre, including the Palm Touchstone charging dock. The Touchstone™ Charging Kit, which includes the Touchstone charging dock and Touchstone back cover for Pre, will be available June 6 for $69.99. The Touchstone charging dock and Touchstone back cover also are available separately for $49.99 and $19.99, respectively.

For more information, visit the Sprint website at http://www.sprint.com/pre. You can read the full Sprint press release on the Sprint website.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Rumor: Wal-Mart to Sell the Palm Pre?

I was reading an article on the Reuters' website this morning and an article on Wal-Mart caught my eye. In the article, Reuters was reporting on how "Wally World" was revamping their electronics department in an attempt to bring in customers who had been formerly shopping at the now defunct Circuit City stores.

At the end of the short article, the following was written:
"Wal-Mart executives said the stores would soon offer Palm Inc's Pre smartphone, a highly anticipated gadget. The retailer also is adding to its selection of higher-end televisions by manufacturers Sony Corp and Samsung Electronics Co, and broadening its array of movies, the newspaper said."

It has been a long time since I've been in a Wal-Mart electronics department and I didn't know if Wal-Mart has partnered with Sprint for retail sales. I'll have to stop by one or both of the local stores to see if they carry Sprint phones. If they don't, either the unnamed Wal-Mart executive was wrong or this could be an indication that a GSM Palm Pre might become available sooner than we originally though in the US. My personal guess is that a GSM Pre will go on sale here in the States late in 2009 at the earliest, with the first round of GSM Pre smartphones going to Vodafone first.

Read the full Reuters article...

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Rumor: Palm Pre Set to Launch on June 7th

I just saw this over on BoyGeniusReport.com. If it is true, it looks like the Palm Pre will launch in just under a month on June 7th.
"We’re prefacing this by saying we’re definitely not 100%, but it looks like Palm could be gearing up for a round of meetings that will lead up to the day we’ve all been waiting for — Palm Pre launch day. We just received what an anonymous tipster claims to be an internal Palm memo regarding some meetings that will take place in early June. According to the document, the meetings will conclude on Friday June 5th with what is labeled 'LAUNCH LUNCH!'"

Back in February I was predicting a lunch of the Pre on either May 17th or the 24th. More recently, though, we heard some rumors that Palm and Sprint might push back the launch of the Pre to ensure that there was sufficient inventory in the supply chain and that there may have been some early production problems on the Pre manufacturing line. (I can't confirm either of those rumors.) At any rate, it looks like the Pre is go for June 7th. I really can't wait to see how the Pre's email stands up to the BlackBerry email system. I've been using a BlackBerry Curve 8330 since December and I have really become addicted to it's virtually instanatious email delivery. Will the Pre cause me to dump my CrackBerry? We'll soon find out.

[Via BoyGeniusReport.com...]

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

1SRC Podcast 210

The latest 1SRC Podcast has been posted for your listening enjoyment.

This week, on the 1SRC Podcast, I cover:


  • BoyGeniusReport claims they have the pricing model for the Palm Pre on Sprint.
  • Rumors are flying this week about the Centro replacement, the Eos.
  • Will the Foleo II with Palm webOS be the netbook Foleo always should have been?

Download 1SRC Podcast 210 enhanced edition...
Subscribe to the enhanced 1SRC Podcast feed...
Read the transcript for 1SRC Podcast 210...
Discuss 1SRC Podcast 210...

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Bell Mobility Exclusive Carrier for Palm Pre

Palm and Bell Mobility in Canada have announced that Bell has been selected to be the exclusive carrier of Palm's new Pre smartphone powered by Palm webOS. The Pre will be released in Canada during the second half of 2009.
"We're excited to bring Pre to Canada with Bell Mobility," said Brodie Keast, senior vice president of marketing for Palm, Inc. "We've seen enormous interest from mobile operators worldwide and fully expect to continue to expand distribution for Pre, putting it within reach of more and more customers."

"Bell is excited to be only the second carrier in the world to announce the 3G Pre," said Adel Bazerghi, senior vice president of Products for Bell Mobility. "With the unique user experience of the world's first webOS phone, running on the country's largest 3G network, we're confident that Canadians will embrace Pre as the phone for their lives today."
You can read the full Palm press release, which includes the specifications for the Bell Mobility Pre, on the Palm website. Pricing for the Bell Pre was not announced today and the release date was only indicated as "in the second half of 2009."

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Will Palm Get Its 'Mojo' Back with webOS and Pre?

RedmondDeveloper News has written an article on the growing grassroots support for Palm's new mobile operating system, webOS.
"As smartphone developers await the release of devices based on Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6.5, tinker with the recently released Google Android SDK, and pine over the one billionth iPhone app downloaded, a grassroots movement by some influential developers is pushing the adoption of an alternative mobile platform.

A burgeoning community of developers are investing time and resources on a device and platform they've barely seen from a company that was, until recently, written off for dead: Palm Inc. While many observers are skeptical that Palm can make a sizable dent in the mobile market, hundreds of developers are eagerly awaiting the release of the company's new webOS and the Palm Pre mobile device.

These developers have signed up to participate in dev camps that are slated to take place on the first weekend after Palm releases webOS and Pre. These camps are being organized by the developers and are not under Palm's purview, nor Sprint's, the carrier designated to sell the device in the United States, according to the organizers."

I believe that Palm doesn't have to dominate the mobile phone market to make a fair amount of money. The mobile phone space is really big and it doesn't have to be one vendor takes all. I also think that Palm really does have a solid foundation with Palm webOS and it can be the vehicle, together with some new hardware, to jump start the company and make it a major player in mobile computing again.

Read the full RedmondDeveloper News article...

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Monday, May 4, 2009

More On a Possible "Foleo II" Device

While looking for more information on the rumor from this past weekend that Palm might be mulling over their options on releasing a redesigned Foleo running Palm webOS, I found this interesting article over on JKOnTheRun.com. Mr. Kendrick writes:
"Lots of companies are currently working on Google Android netbooks and there have been whispers of how great a WebOS-based netbook could be, even though not a single device with that OS is actually shipping yet. This obsession with netbooks and how to make a great one has me thinking that there’s no reason Palm couldn’t produce one, and right now.

Just hear me out. A netbook that is designed from the ground up to be a cloud machine could be easily produced using high-end PDA components. The main requirements would be a decent processor, very long battery life and an easy-to-use OS. Enter Palm."
I think that this is a really cool idea. I've been using a Dell Mini 9 since late November (2008) and I have mixed feeling about it. Yes, it is light and super portable. I liked the Foleo's exterior finishing better than the glossy lid on Dell's netbooks. I also like the fact that I can run Windows XP on the Dell netbook, but with only about 2.5 hours of battery life, I'm not going too far without my AC adapter. (I often can't go to a full morning's or afternoon's worth of meetings without having to break out the charger. Ugh!) There are only a handful of applications that I use my Dell Mini 9 for: note taking and word processing in Microsoft Word 2003; checking my email in Microsoft Outlook 2003 (I do have access to corporate email via a web mail portal but I prefer Outlook or my BlackBerry); calendaring; and web surfing with FireFox or Internet Explorer.

Now, here comes Palm with a "Foleo re-mix" taking the best concepts of the Foleo and combining it with the flexibility of Palm's new webOS platform, and you can have an ultra-portable device that can easily provide the kinds of features I'm looking for (word processing, email, calendaring, and web browsing) in a device that can run at least 8 hours with the screen set to a reasonable brightness level with Wi-Fi enabled. That would be a perfect device for me.

You can bet I'll be keeping a close eye on this rumor as we continue to move through th rest of the year.

You can read the full JKOnTheRun.com article here...

[Photo credit: JKOnTheRun.com]

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Rumor: Sprint Still Toying with Pre Pricing

A recent article posted over on BoyGeniusReport.com suggests that the Sprint is still considering the pricing for Palm's Pre smartphone.
"Pricing is supposedly still being discussed but the probable points are as follows: New customers with a 2-year contract, $199.99. Existing customer upgrades, $299.99. Outright, $999.99. Yes, seriously."
Ouch! A thousand dollars to purchase a Palm Pre free and clear? Yikes!

[Via BoyGeniousReport.com...]

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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Rumor: The Foleo to Become a webOS Netbook

Calling all Foleo Fanatics! I just read an interesting post over on Palm InfoCenter that was posted by Ryan.
"Rumor: Trip Chowdhry, an analyst with Global Equities Research, asserts in a note to clients today (via Tech Trader Daily) that Palm intends to produce a $399 netbook that will run WebOS. The speculation is not without precedent as Palm has stated on numerous occasions that the WebOS will power a family of products and has said in the past that a Foleo followup is not out of the question.

Chowdhry is saying that the device will basically be a revised version of the Foleo and will be powered by an ARM chipset and will use a Gobi 3G wireless chip from Qualcomm for an estimated 8-10 hour battery life. He says the project is being designed by three ex-Apple iPod guys."
Shortly after the Foleo was canceled, company officials indicated that the Foleo might return one day in the future. Here is to hoping that day has gotten a little closer.

[Via PalmInfocenter.com...]

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What Mobile OS Will Lead the Market

PUGcast the Blog editor Clemens Schuchert has published a poll recently asking his readers what mobile OS they believe will dominate the smartphone market space for the next few years. The results are interesting and highlight the differences between Europe's and North America's smartphone users. Now Mr. Schuchert has put out the call for smartphone junkies across the pond to jump in and have their voices heard.

"Thus, until now, two third of you believe iPhoneOS to be the most future safe mobile operating system. This underlines Apple success of the iPhone introduction about 2 years ago.

Followed by Windows Mobile, which even more than the half of PUGcast readers believe to be the one to run future devices with.

Sybian and Android is equal about 40 % and it's hard to argue which one will succeed: Both are open source and address a huge developer community.

Surprisingly, Palm's new webOS (the successor of 15 years old Palm OS), is only of interest for about one fourth of the readers, which leaves room for interpretation. Do people not believe in the new mobile operating system or do they simply do not know enough about it at this stage to argue about it's future?

Let your readers tell us what they believe."
You can cast your vote here.

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Friday, May 1, 2009

Rumor: Palm to Launch a webOS Blitz in 2009 With Eos

PhoneNews.com is reporting that they have received confirmation that Palm will be launching a second webOS phone in 2009. The Palm Eos, if the rumors are true, will replace the last Palm OS smartphone, the insanely popular Centro.

Palm fans should expect to see the Palm Pre go live later this month on Sprint. Expect the Pre to show up in it's GSM/UMTS duds on Vodafone before the end of the year. And now we should expect to see the new Eos show up on AT&T and Sprint (GSM and EVDO, receptively) before the end of the year.

Take all of this with several gains of salt. Palm themselves have not talked about the Eos publicly yet, but the Centro needs to be replaced and I'm sure that Palm is more than ready to update their popular phone with something that is even more hip and inexpensive.

If all of this is true, I'm feeling really good about Palm's chances to stage a come back this year. w00t!

Get the inside scoop as reported by PhoneNews.com on the AT&T Palm Eos and the Sprint Palm Eos.

[Via PhoneNews.com...]

Image courtesy of Engadget.

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