Tag - Centro
Palm is in the middle of a major corporate shuffle that could see its CEO Jon Rubinstein out, a major rumor argued this evening. The new structure and any other departures weren't mentioned by the TechCrunch source, but the move itself would invariably be a reaction to dropping smartphone sales. Palm hasn't had an opportunity to respond.
Apple may be working on establishing its 4th retail store in Germany, according to the German Mac site MacNotes.de. The new brick-and-mortar establishment is expected to be located in the CentrO shopping center in Oberhausen, as indicated by job postings on Apple's German website.
The existence of Palm's next webOS phone after the Pre, the Eos, has allegedly been confirmed through investigation into code. Buried in the current version of webOS is a file called miniboot.sh, which contains two device references, Castle and Pixie. The former is known to have been the development codename of the Pre, while leaks have attributed the latter alias to the Eos. No other relevant information has so far been found in the firmware.
Palm's just-spotted second webOS phone has been given much greater detail in a new leak that appears to confirm nearly all details of the device. Now known as the Eos, the design pictured by Engadget is built as a replacement for the Centro but with features that would establish it as a lower-cost alternative to an iPhone. It would have a slightly smaller 2.6-inch, 320x400 multi-touch display but would still have a fixed QWERTY keyboard and an extremely thin design: it would measure just under 0.42 inches thick.
Palm's mystery second, smaller webOS device may be a heavily redesigned version of the Centro, based on an escaped photo. Appearing to come from a slideshow, the device spotted by BGR has the same basic candybar design but a much larger screen and the same interface, including the multi-tasking button and the gesture area. Little else is known other than that the phone has a fall release date consistent with the late Wednesday rumor.
Palm is now offering unlocked GSM Centro smartphones for $199 in cobalt blue, ruby red or glacier white. The aging handset was first spotted in the summer of 2007, and it hasn't changed since. The handset sports a full QWERTY keyboard with rubber buttons, 64MB or 128MB of built-in storage space and a 320x320 pixel display. A microSD card slot lets users add 4GB of storage space to the handset.
Palm's smartphones beyond the Pre may be delayed if a story in Taiwan's Commercial Times proves true. The company's believed contractor for two unknown smartphones, Compal, has reportedly pushed back shipments for the mystery devices from mid-year until the end of the year. A switch in components for newer, faster Qualcomm chips is said to have prompted the delay.
Palm this morning took action to keep itself afloat and chose to put 18.5 million shares of its stock back on the market. The move gives the early smartphone pioneer at least $49 million in cash and would simultaneously give Palm's primary investor, Elevation Partners, that same money to use in buying back stock at Palm's higher price. How many of these shares will be bought isn't specified, though buying all 18.5 million shares would equal roughly $113.8 million, or more than double their original value.
Palm's flagship Pre may be delayed at least within the company. A claimed design engineer source speaking to TinyComb says the phone is "officially" delayed but doesn't say whether this will involve any delays in the public launch schedule. Palm has always remained conservative with its release schedule and has said only that it plans to launch the phone in the first half of the year, though informal leaks have hinted a possible June release.
Despite the buzz surrounding the unreleased Pre handset, Palm expects its financial report to show a continued decline in revenue through the third quarter of FY09 as the company experiences reduced demand for its older Centro and Treo devices. The delayed launch of the Treo Pro in the United States and the current economic recession have further contributed to the company's troubles.