updated 07:45 am EDT, Fri June 12, 2009
Palm Eos on ice?
Palm's budget Eos smartphone is rumored today to be on hold due to worries over Pre sales. The Centro replacement, nicknamed "Pixie," is said by contacts in Asia to still be under development but that its actual launch is frozen until Palm has "better visibility" of how well the Pre and other existing phones are selling. Leaks have suggested the Eos would ship in the fall and thus have the delay coming a few months before launch.
While TechCrunch speculates that a poor reaction to the Pre is the primary factor in the supposed freeze, both its sources and initial estimates hint that shortages are the most likely factors in Palm's sales numbers to date. Chinese contractor Foxconn was reportedly asked to make 500,000 Pres for launch but was only able to supply 150,000 due to a "complicated mechanical design" that cut back on what it could ship and which may have delayed the release.
The Eos is regarded as important for Palm as it should be the first to sell to North American carriers besides Bell and Sprint and will compete against a newer wave of inexpensive smartphones, including the price-slashed $99 iPhone 3G.