This one's all about the timing. Palm's made it clear that they'll be offering more than one WebOS powered smartphone before all is said and done. So this week's crazy slew of rumors regarding the *next* new Palm shouldn't be coming as a surprise to anyone. Thing is, the Pre still isn't out of the darn gate yet and already Sprint may be losing potential customers to AT&T, all thanks to the rumor mill.
Mike Arrington started the fuss over on TechCrunch last night, and everyone from Engadget to BGR to your Mom's neighbor has chimed in today - though it appears that Engadget deserves credit as the original source for the key information here (including the above photo): Super-thin candybar device from Palm, running WebOS, on AT&T. Hear that? It's the sound of a whole bunch of Pre-hungry AT&T customers not jumping ship for Sprint.
If this pans out it could spell trouble for Sprint. According to Engadget, the Palm Eos "will supposedly be an astounding 10.6mm thin" and rock a front-panel 2.6" capactive touchscreen and QWERTY board, 4GB of storage, HSDPA/EDGE/GSM connectivity, and a 2PM camera. Sure, those specs are lower-tier than Pre's, but a super-thin WebOS device on AT&T is more or less Sprint's worst nightmare at this point. Especially if it's unofficially confirmed before Pre ships, and officially avialable before, say, Halloween.
While Halloween might sound far off, think about it: You're locked into an AT&T contract for a few more months, curious about Pre, but not sure if you want to take the risk and jump carriers and switch to a brand new hardware platform running a brand new software platform. Also, there might be a new iPhone hitting in June. These EOS rumors give you a way out: Instead of being afraid to switch to Pre on Sprint, you can just say you're waiting for that, "Newer, thinner Palm on AT&T ... the one that'll launch after the bugs get ironed out of WebOS."
All of which is why I wouldn't bet the farm on this rumor just yet. It may well be true, but it's just juicy enough to be a well-placed of AT&T-friendly vaporware, too. We'll have to wait and see, huh?