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HP Executive Jon Rubinstein swore he would save Palm.  (Source: Business Insider)
A keyboard-less, high-res webOS 2.0 device?

The folks at Precentral have been informed by a reliable tipster that Palm is planning a new, touchscreen only webOS 2.0 device and successor to the Palm Pre, currently codenamed "Mansion".

Little else is known about the Mansion at the moment, except that it will not have a physical keyboard (the first for a webOS device), and will boast a 800 x 480 screen resolution.

A Precentral commenter noted that the Pre was originally codenamed "Castle."

Palm was purchased by Hewlett-Packard in July, but neither the newly acquired company, nor its parent have released many plans regarding their future mobile devices. There were even reports that HP's former CEO, Mark Hurd, was going to let Palm smartphones die. But then he resigned after a scandal involving a relationship with an HP contractor, and a former Apple executive swore he would help rescue the dying Palm smartphone brand. To add insult to injury, the lead webOS designer fled Palm for Google to work on Android.

A recent study showed Palm's webOS was just barely ahead of RIM's Blackberry OS in terms of customer satisfaction, but lagged behind Google's Android and Apple's iOS considerably. The same study showed that likely future smartphone buyers weren't even considering a webOS device. Seriously, it had zero percent of the votes.

Will a sleeker form factor and higher resolution screen be enough to save the beleaguered mobile unit? Hardly. But we have yet to see what else Palm might include in the Mansion. A codename like that suggests a powerful, high-quality device. It's entirely possible that a well-priced, top-tier mobile device running an updated version of webOS could carve out a niche in the smartphone marketplace. But Palm is fighting an uphill battle with this one, and with every new Android phone to hit the market, and the forthcoming Windows Phone 7 blitz around the corner, that hill becomes steeper and steeper.





“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads



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