Canada's Bell Nabs Palm Pre

Bell Mobility is the second carrier to officially say it will offer the Pre, but it remains tight-lipped about a release date or price.
Palm Pre
(click image for larger view)
Palm Pre
Canadians with Bell's cellular service will get exclusive access to the upcoming Palm Pre smartphone.

The Pre is a highly anticipated smartphone that Palm is hoping will help it regain market share from Apple and Research In Motion. Introduced at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, the Pre has a large capacitive touch screen and a slide-down physical QWERTY keyboard for composing messages. It also has Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth, GPS, and many of the other features expected in a high-end smartphone.

One of the most appealing features of the Pre is the new operating system that comes with it. Palm has been working on webOS for years, and it was built from the ground up with Internet connectivity in mind. It features motion gestures, multitasking, and a new "cards" system for managing apps and notifying users of incoming messages and e-mails.

"Bell is excited to be only the second carrier in the world to announce the 3G Pre," said Adel Bazerghi, senior VP of products for Bell Mobility, in a statement. "With the unique user experience of the world's first webOS phone, running on the country's largest 3G network, we're confident that Canadians will embrace Pre as the phone for their lives today."

Sprint Nextel was the first mobile operator to say it will offer the Pre, and like Bell, it uses CDMA technology for its voice and data networks. Palm has shown off prototype Pre handsets capable of using the popular GSM network technology, but no official carriers have been announced yet.

Bell did not say how much the Pre would cost, but did say it would be released in the second half of the year. Palm said the Pre will hit Sprint in the first half of 2009, but still has not given a firm release date or price.

Part of the growth in the smartphone market will be for enterprise use, and this can quickly bring up multiple questions about security and mobility policies. InformationWeek analyzed how businesses can lock down data when it's on the move, and the report can be downloaded here (registration required).

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