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A Strange Palm Delay Story

Mon Mar 23, 2009 - 10:09 AM EDT - By Dieter Bohn



Update As expected, Palm confirms that the Pre is still on schedule.

An odd story has popped up at DigiTimes, citing Commercial Times [and via Engadget Mobile), citing the following:

Shipments of Palm's two smartphones will be delayed as Compal is waiting for Qualcomm's new chipset solutions that will enable better performance, said the paper.

There's more than a little bit of strangeness here, so let's break down what we know:

  • First, to allay any fears, this most definitely isn't about the Palm Pre, which is manufactured by CMCS, not Compal. Plus, the article references a Qualcomm chip, while the Pre uses a Texas Instrument processor.

That, friends, is about it. We do know that Palm has used quite a few different ODMs (Original Device Manufacturer) in the past year -- from Inventec to (pay attention) HTC. The Treo Pro is clearly ODM'd by HTC and the standard assumption of late has been that HTC would continue to do that work for Palm's Windows Mobile devices. In fact, it's common knowledge that the Treo Pro was largely designed by HTC. For Palm to go to another ODM for Windows Mobile devices would be a bit of a surprise, as we had thought that Palm was not going to be putting too much in-house design work into their Windows Mobile lineup.

So what to make of this Compal-Qualcomm-Palm-Delay rumor? The only thing left in this particular rumor refrigerator are some moldy scraps that had been left to sit in the back of that drawer on the bottom. Namely: the Tabasco / Roteo, last seen in December and quickly debunked as a straightfoward prototype and not bound for smartphone lands because of its heft and rumored radios. The keyboard did appear to be a solid indication that Palm and Compal were working together, however.

Assuming this story has some truth to it, that opens up the possibility not only that Palm might look to other manufacturers for their Windows Mobile lineup, but that they might also be interested in expanding the line. The cynics among us might even take the fact that the story includes a delay as evidence that we're definitely talking about a Treo here.

What say you? Join the discussion, already in progress, at the TreoCentral Forums

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