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Pre could pilot Palm to smartphone glory again
Mobile Devices
Written by Gizmo   
Friday, 05 June 2009 09:34

By Edward C. Baig, USA TODAY

The most-lusted-after pocket computer in months is about to go on sale — and it's not even an iPhone. On Saturday, Palm and Sprint start selling the Palm Pre, a smartphone that stacks up well against Apple's blockbuster device, and in some ways even surpasses it.

I've been testing the Pre for more than two weeks and like it a lot. Pre is easy on the eyes. I can't think of a more comfortable cellphone in my hand. It has a lovely screen for taking in YouTube videos or browsing the Web. The "always-connected" software foundation at its core, which Palm designed from scratch and calls WebOS, is slick and rife with possibilities.

Palm, struggling in recent years, is looking to the Pre for salvation. Its iconic Palm Pilot personal digital assistant is a fond, long-faded memory. And Palm's Treo smartphone franchise has lost shine to iPhones and BlackBerrys. Sprint, too, is counting heavily on the Pre: The nation's third-largest wireless carrier has been bleeding customers.

But there's reason for optimism: The companies are teaming up at a time of ripe innovations in a still-burgeoning smartphone market.

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