All you developers out there who are anxious to get your hands on the webOS SDK apparently won’t have to wait too much longer. Palm announced on its developer blog that it is expanding its Mojo SDK early access program, increasing the number of developers from hundreds to thousands over the next few weeks in doing so. Palm will also be releasing additional resources outside of the early access program — such as the open source webOS components now available on Palm’s open source portal — and relaxing its confidentiality rules to allow early Mojo developers to more freely communicate with the outside world. Most importantly, Palm revealed that it plans to release the SDK to the public by the end of the summer. Woo!
Read (open source webOS components)
Read (SDK release)
It was no mystery that when Apple issued a recent statement regarding unsupported third-party devices claiming to support iTunes sync, it had Palm squarely in its sights. Apple’s position on the matter:
Apple is aware that some third-parties claim that their digital media players are able to sync with Apple software. However, Apple does not provide support for, or test for compatibility with, non-Apple digital media players and, because software changes over time, newer versions of Apple’s iTunes software may no longer provide syncing functionality with non-Apple digital media players.
In other words, Apple will likely find a way to kill Palm’s workaround and prevent the Pre from syncing with iTunes. Palm spokesperson Lynn Fox’s response:
PalmÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s media sync works with the current version of iTunes. If Apple chooses to disable media sync in a future version of iTunes, it will be a direct blow to their users who will be deprived of a seamless synchronization experience. However, people will have options. They can stay with the iTunes version that works to sync their music on their Pre, they can transfer the music via USB, and there are other third-party applications we could consider.
It looks like Palm isn’t going to publicly state that it’s prepared to play a cat and mouse game with Apple — issuing firmware updates with workarounds each time Apple kills the functionality — but we wouldn’t be surprised if that’s exactly what ends up happening. Instead, Palm is going with the Apple hates you unless you buy Apple products argument; a solid position, albeit useless. In any event, don’t start crying on your Pre just yet as there are a few other options when it comes to getting iTunes music on your webOS wonder.
Despite being the man who led the charge of the Pre and webOS after a 9 year tenure at Apple, it still came as a bit of a surprise when Palm announced that Jon Rubinstein will be assuming the role as CEO starting tomorrow. After everything Palm has been through, now is when it makes a major change at the top? Taking over the position that has been held by Ed Colligan for the past sixteen years, Rubinstein will be entrusted with ensuring the company stays on the straight and narrow as it attempts to re-establish itself as a major player in the smartphone market. As for Colligan, he will join Roger McNamee at Elevation Partners, a major financial backer of Palm, after a much needed hiatus.
Just a few days ago, the Best Buy inventory system was updated to include Palm Pre accessories, one being the inductive touchstone charger. The charger was curiously listed with a May 10th, 2009 in stock date which cast some doubt on the authenticity and reliability of the information. Pre fans can all breathe a sigh of relief however, as the Best Buy inventory system has been updated to reflect a new in stock date for the touchstone charger – the now-familiar June 7th, 2009. Either someone within the Best Buy system is playing with us all or June 7th is indeed likely scheduled as the launch date for Palm Pre. We are hoping for the latter as Sprint and Palm need to get this phone out the door soon.
We just got a tip from a very proven tipster who informed us that Palm and Sprint were set to make a big announcement in the Wall Street Journal on May 19th. They said that there’s a very good chance of Palm and Sprint announcing the Pre release date then. Confusing, eh? Well, if we were betting boys, our money would be on Tuesday the 19th. We will soon see!
It looks like that flurry of rumors and our exclusive image courtesy of Captain Blurrycam lit a fire under someone this morning because we now have what are reportedly full specs for Palm’s follow up to the Pre. Say hello to the Volkswagen Eos… Err, Palm Treo Pro… No wait, Palm Eos. Yeah, that’s it. Specs are as follows:
- Quad-band GSM, 850/1900MHz HSDPA
- 111 x 55 x 10.6mm (looks like the E71’s reign as the thinnest QWERTY smartphone is coming to an end)
- 2.63-inch 320 x 400 capacitive display
- 4GB storage
- Price: $349 (pre-rebate)
- Camera: 2 megapixel fixed focus digital camera and flash / video capture
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 2.1 w/ A2DP and EDR, USB 2.0 via micro USB
- Removable 1150 mAh battery (4 hours 3G talk time)
- Messaging: SMS, MMS (picture and video only), integrated IM client
- Contact sync with AT&T Address Book
- Cellular Video
- Email: POP3, IMAP4, and EAS support
- Audio: WAV, MP3, AAC, AAC+ ringtones
- Video Playback: MPEG4, H.264, H.263
It might be named after a VW and styled after the Treo Pro but if this rumor pans out, it could be the first GSM handset rocking WebOS to land in the States — Pre imports aside.
One of our ninjas just hit us up with the above photo… they said it would be Palm’s next webOS device, the rumored Centro-esque handset. No specs or anything, just a “Fall” release date. Sorry for the blurry and small photo, but it’s legit! What you guys think?
Thanks, Daddy G.!
iSuppli is certainly the authority when it comes to pegging manufacturer costs in the world of handsets, but its latest report has a giant question mark stamped on the cover. Without actually having a handset on hand, the firm has placed Palm’s cost at approximately $138 per unit to build the Pre. Now, we know iSuppli knows its stuff but we have to take issue with the fact that it reached this conclusion without actually, you know, having a Palm Pre on hand to analyze. Instead, iSuppli based the majority of its calculations on assumptions. Educated assumptions, yes, but assumptions none the less. Regardless, it’s safe to say that the firm is certainly in the right ballpark and the Pre will likely cost much less to build than the iPhone, which runs Apple about $174 per unit. Even if iSuppli’s numbers are 10 percent off on the low end, Palm is still looking at doubling down with each unit sold. Not bad, not bad at all.
There are many who would argue that Palm’s future success rides on the shoulders of of webOS, if not the Pre itself. While it most certainly seems like an exciting device, there are plenty of skeptics out there. Even those who were lucky enough to parade around with their units weren’t that impressed when they first got the handset. A recent survey conducted by ChangeWave Research is now showing that prospective smartphone buyers are looking to RIM or Apple first — of 4,292 adults surveyed, only 4% showed interest in purchasing a Palm Pre according to the poll. The most popular choices were BlackBerry, getting 37% of the vote, and the iPhone with 30% of the surveyed group. Add to that the fact that Sprint will be the Pre’s exclusive carrier and you have 1% of respondents who said they would be willing to switch carriers. Of course we don’t know how ChangeWave found its test group and we trust you guys much more — how many of you are going to pick up the Palm Pre, and are willing to switch carriers to do so?
If you’re looking for rhyme or reason, unfortunately we can’t offer either for the time being. All we know is this: It looks like Sprint and Palm may be loosening the reins a bit when it comes to allowing the Palm Pre out into the wild. The image above was supposedly taken at something called “the annual Bring Your Own Big Wheel race”. It shows two people, whose identities are unknown, rocking Palm Pres. An eagle eyed attendee spotted them and managed to chat the pair up before snapping a few pics. The stealth photog tells us that the Pre-toting pair claim to have been using the handsets for several weeks now. In fact, they supposedly weren’t all that blown away by the device at first, but recent updates to the handsets have converted them into satisfied users. When asked about a public release, the duo’s only response was that we “probably won’t have to wait too much longer”. Could the recent rumors of a May release be on point? Were these naive Sprint or Palm employees who managed to get their hands on the device a bit early? Your guess is as good as ours. In the meantime, hit the jump for some more pics.