Analyst: Palm's next webOS phone may not launch until 2010

One financial analyst is casting doubt on rumors that Palm will make its new webOS phone, code-named Pixie and also referred to as Eos, available in time for the 2009 holiday buying season. Morgan Joseph Analyst Ilya Grozovsky wrote in a research note that the Pixie, which is believed to be headed to AT&T, is not likely to launch until 2010.

Grozovsky added that Palm needs to push the Pixie hard if the company plans to be competitive with the $99 Apple iPhone 3G model currently being sold by AT&T.

A May article in eWeek described the Pixie as a small, candy-bar shaped phone geared to the low-end of the market. Such a phone would match up with Palm's previously used strategy with its Centro device--a low-end take on its Treo line.

Grozovsky also believes that sales of Palm's Pre device at Sprint Nextel are slowing. He said that according to his checks Pre sales fell from 200,000 units in June to 100,000 units in July. He expects sales to drop even further in August--and result in a price cut. Sprint currently offers the Pre for $199.

Just yesterday Palm announced that developers who wish to introduce premium webOS applications for the Pre smartphone can begin selling their software via the Palm App Catalog e-commerce beta program, scheduled to launch in mid-September. 

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