Asia-Pacific Pre Will Be Second-Generation, Mid-to-Late 2010
By now, Asia-Pacific Palm fans will have heard the sad news that we won't be receiving the Palm Pre anytime soon, as confirmed by intrepid investigator Jason Lingohr and reported by PreCentral yesterday. PalmInfocenter has been looking into this issue for some time now, and with this new information at hand did some digging of our own into the sorry state of affairs. The picture we have pieced together from multiple sources is essentially what Jason has already discovered, but with a new twist.
Palm's overarching strategy with the first generation of webOS devices is indeed to focus tightly on the North American and European markets. It's purely a matter of survival: the company does not want to spread itself too thinly at such a critcial juncture in its history. Thus, much like Apple's original iPhone, only a select group of countries will be receiving the first-generation webOS flagship, the Pre; indeed, we may have already seen the extent of Palm's initial international rollout with the US, Canada, Spain, the UK, Germany and Ireland (although there's still that Mexican Pre to consider, too...). Apparently, all the Australian carriers were informed of this decision several months ago - putting paid to recent rumours of a launch on Vodafone AU in November.
However, the intention is for the second-generation Pre to be released to a much wider audience, including Asia-Pacific - and yes, this is confirmation that an updated Pre is coming, rather than a whole new device. No details on specs or timing are confirmed yet, but expanded storage capacity was specifically mentioned as "near-certain". Whether that means more built-in memory or the oft-requested microSD slot, none could say.
As to the release date, opinion ranged all over the map: our most credible source was unwilling to make any kind of guess, while others are betting on mid-to-late 2010.
Where does all this leave that other webOS device, the Pixi? None of our sources could say, nor were they willing to speculate. But rest assured, dear readers, your correspondent is staying on the hunt.
One final note: I wouldn't really class all this as a rumour; I'm quite confident in the patchwork of information I've stitched together. That said, since nobody was willing to speak on the record, I'd take it with a grain of salt... were I a reader.
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