Reports have been circulating for the last couple of days about the possibility of Palm offering a webOS-based smartphone with WiMAX. The most important thing to keep in mind about these is that they are just vague rumors, and I strongly suspect they are only speculation.
Last week, Palm had to admit that sales aren’t what they hoped, and since then many people have been thinking about ways for the company to turn things around. One possibility would be to offer a model with Sprint’s 4G service.
At some point, this speculation turned into a rumor that Palm really is working on such a model. And this gained steam when Computerworld ran an article about it.
I’m not disagreeing with the original theory — in fact, I think it’s a good idea. But I don’t want anyone to think it’s a done deal.
webOS + WiMAX = Maybe
Palm and Sprint have been working closely together for years — the Palm Pre debuted with this carrier, for example. So it’s well within the realm of possibility that these two could be planning a model that includes Sprint’s WiMAX service.
However, enough evidence has leaked out to convince me that the first smartphone with this service will be the HTC Supersonic, which will run Google’s Android OS.
This doesn’t preclude the possibility of a webOS-based one at some point in the future, though. In fact, I’m sure such a device will debut eventually. Sprint is emphasizing WiMAX so much that I expect a wide variety of smartphones running it will be rleased in the next few years.
All these models will offer considerably faster access than Sprint’s 3G service EV-DO, with peak downlink speeds of up to 12 Mbps, and average downlink speeds of 2-4 Mbps.