In a speech to investors today, Palm’s CEO confirmed something many have suspected: there will be no more new models introduced running the Palm OS.
Instead, the company will focus much its efforts on consumer-oriented smartphones running the webOS, the new platform it unveiled last month. The first device based on this operating system — the Palm Pre — will debut exclusively from Sprint in the first half of this year. In addition, it will continue to introduce Windows Mobile-based smartphones for business users.
Ed Colligan also promised that his company is already thinking about the webOS models that will follow the Pre. “We have a robust roadmap; we absolutely have a roadmap of products over the next few years that you’ll see come out that we’re very excited about, all based on this new platform.”
Not surprisingly, he declined to reveal any details, but Colligan did say, “We want to create a product line, but… to some sense less is more here. Let’s make fewer really break-through, innovative products.”
More on Pre Availability, Software, Etc.
The presentation today was primarily a question-and-answer session, and Palm’s CEO was asked when the Pre will be available from carriers besides Sprint. As when he’s been asked this question before, he refused to be specific. However, he said that his company is working with carriers in Europe, Latin America, and N. America. And he expects additional U.S. licensees in 2010.
Colligan was also asked if there will be a webOS software store directly on the Pre. He said there will be, and, unlike Apple’s store for the iPhone, Palm will not make this the exclusive source of webOS applications.
He also repeated something his company has said before: the webOS will not be licensed to other companies. For the foreseeable future, it will be exclusively available only on Palm’s products
Colligan was speaking at the Thomas Weisel Partners Technology, Telecom & Internet Conference in San Francisco.
An Overview of the Palm Pre
The Palm Pre will be the first device to use Palm’s just-announced webOS. This will have a strong focus on the Web and be able to synchronize data with online services like Google and Facebook.
The Pre will feature a sliding keyboard as well as a multitouch-capable 3.1-inch display. This device will also be equipped with 8 GB of onboard storage, Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth 2.1, and a 3.0 megapixel camera with LED flash.
As mentioned earlier, it will be available first from the U.S. carrier Sprint, who will add EV-DO Rev. A.