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Unlocked Palm Pre 2 available in U.S.

Nov 19, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

An unlocked version of Hewlett-Packard's Palm Pre 2 smartphone is now available in the U.S. via and HP's SMB channels for $449. The upgraded 1GHz Pre 2 runs the new version 2.0 of the Linux-based WebOS operating system.

The Palm Pre 2 is the first smartphone to run WebOS 2.0, the newest incarnation of the mobile operating system largely responsible for enticing HP to purchase Palm this summer. The Pre 2 debuted in France on SFR Oct. 19, with promises to appear on Verizon Wireless in the coming months.

Developers wanting to build apps for WebOS 2.0 can also purchase an unlocked UMTS Pre 2 though HP Palm's developer purchase program, which offers developers a $200 discount.

Palm Pre 2 features a 1GHz processor to support WebOS 2.0's improved multitasking.

Features new to WebOS 2.0 include Stacks, a way of grouping together related items to simplify multitasking, as well as Just Type, which lets users start typing before an app has even launched. The release also debuts Exhibition, which lets users run certain apps while the device is charging, and the phone also adds support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1.

In addition to the updated software, the Pre 2 is the first Palm smartphone with a 1GHz processor, and there's also a five-megapixel camera. In addition, the new model features a glass display and a slightly new look that Palm describes as a "sleek, streamlined design."

At the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco Nov. 16, Jon Rubinstein, senior vice president and general manager of HP's Palm Global Business Unit, said that HP and Palm plan to bring Web 2.0 to more smartphones, tablets, printers, and other devices.

"We've got some other ideas in the pipeline we're not ready to talk about yet," he said during a keynote interview. Rubinstein also discussed his time with Apple, before he went to Palm. "It was a disaster," he said. "It had lost its way … It was really terrible." That is, until Jobs and Rubinstein stumbled on the need for a better music player and came up with the iPod.

Just as Apple "lost its way" in those early years, so, too, did Palm. The creators of the Palm Pilot, "by birthright, Palm should have been very successful," said Rubinstein.


The unlocked version of the Palm Pre 2 is available for $449 at HP's Palm Pre 2 page on, here. The Palm blog announcement on the phone's availability should be here.

An eWEEK slide show on the Palm Pre 2 may be found here.

Michelle Maisto is a writer for our sister publication eWEEK.

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