As Palm makes its painfully slow ascent from the Valley of Death, they have contracted Foxconn Technology Co., Ltd. and Compal Communications Inc. for a total of six new webOS devices slated for shelves in 2011. That's right Palm has contracted these companies, not HP. The word from Chinese Economic News Service is:
"...[Palm] has recently resumed its orders to contract suppliers, with Foxconn to supply four to five new types of Palm`s smartphones for sale in 2011, and Commpal Communications to deliver one new type."
Whether the Pre 2 is one of these devices is not clear, but definitely probable. Other than that you can probably expect to see something along the lines of another Pixi-style wafer, possibly a horizontal slider, and hopefully a full touchscreen wafer-style device. I suspect this "one new type" from Compal will likely be the webOS tablet we've been hearing rumors of, which has been given the PalmPad alias. CENS got a confirmation from quite a reputable source, stating:
"Worth mentioning is that Todd Bradley, executive vice president of Personal Systems Group of HP, which has helped Palm tide over its operating crisis, confirmed that his company will launch a WebOS-installed tablet PC, PalmPad, in 2011. Also, Foxconn is believed to supply the new tablet."
It's been quite a rough patch for Palm over the last two years or so, but it's nice to see them persevere. With more form factors heading our way and Palm working diligently on webOS, maybe the neat platform will finally get the attention it deserves. I've always been fond of the operating system, but the form factor of the Pixi and Pre/Pre 2 have never been my cup of tea. HP webOS is a monster at multitasking, and being used in conjunction with a tablet will pose a good threat to other tablet manufacturers and platforms if done right. Sweeping the market is really out of the question for Palm right now, but they have been given a mulligan. I'm rooting for them and hoping they do it right this time 'round.