Palm, last year’s big news maker at CES, announced that it will indeed bring the Pre and the Pixi to Verizon beginning January 25. Perhaps that will be a plus for Palm as the buzz over the Pre had started to swiftly fade. New but similar devices will be called the Pre Plus and the Pixi Plus. The Plus part is about adding memory to the Pre Plus (going up to 16GB) and the back cover for using the wireless charging method will come standard on the Pre Plus. Not sure what the Plus part means for the Pixi just yet.
Also of note is that there is now an Mobile HotSpot app that will allow the Palm Pre Plus and the Pixi Plus to serve as a mobile hotspot (as in MiFi) for up to five devices. Call that a new and welcome twist on tethering, that other carriers should pay attention to. I think this only works with the Verizon version, so that will be a bummer for Sprint customers.
Press Release after the jump.
LAS VEGAS â€“ Today at the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show, Verizon Wireless and Palm, Inc. (NASDAQ: PALM) announced the Jan. 25 availability of PalmÂ® Preâ„¢ Plus and Palm Pixiâ„¢ Plus, bringing the Palm webOSâ„¢ experience to customers on the nation’s largest and most reliable wireless 3G network.
Palm Pre Plus has a large, vivid touch screen; high-performance processor; and slide-out keyboard. Â The Pre Plus keyboard makes for quick and easy typing, while the unique gesture area provides a sleek look and intuitive navigation. Â Pre Plus also comes with the Palm Touchstoneâ„¢ Back Cover, making the phone compatible with the revolutionary inductive Touchstone Charging Dock (sold separately). Â Verizon Wireless Pre Plus customers will also get 16 GB of storage (approximately 15 GB user available) for applications and media.
Feature-rich, Pre Plus and Pixi Plus offer Verizon Wireless customers greater flexibility for access to the Internet with Wi-Fi. Â In addition, the all-new Palm mobile hotspot, a webOS app that can be downloaded from the Palm App Catalog, gives customers the option of creating a personal Wi-Fi cloud capable of sharing the reliability and high-speed Internet connectivity of the Verizon Wireless 3G network with up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices such as notebooks, netbooks, cameras, gaming devices or portable media/MP3 players.
Social communicators and first-time smartphone buyers who want an affordable and customizable phone and instant access to messaging and Web content will love Pixi Plus.Â Customers have a host of options for personalizing their phones with the separately-sold Palm Pixi Artist Series Back Covers (www.palm.com/artistseries) and new color Pixi Touchstone Back Covers, which will be available in pink, blue, green, orange and black.
“The Palm experience is all about helping our customers stay connected so they never miss a thing,” said Jon Rubinstein, Palm chairman and chief executive officer. Â “We’re constantly enriching this experience with new features and innovations. Â The Verizon Wireless launch of Pre Plus and Pixi Plus is the next phase in delivering this unique Palm experience to more people.”
“The Palm webOS family is a great addition to Verizon Wireless’ robust line-up of smartphones,” said John Stratton, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless. Â “The outstanding capabilities and functionalities on both Pre Plus and Pixi Plus give customers a wealth of customization options to help them manage their lives.Â Customers get the latest technology from Palm along with the nation’s largest and most reliable 3G network for an unsurpassed mobile experience.”
Following are key features and specifications available on both Pre Plus and Pixi Plus:
- webOS â€“ Allows customers to run multiple applications simultaneously and provides over-the-air software updates delivered automatically to their devices
- Palm Synergyâ„¢ â€“ Brings customers’ information from the many places it resides into a single, more comprehensive view
- Unobtrusive notifications and universal search
- Palm App Catalog â€“ Currently offers more than 1,000 webOS applications for download
- High-speed connectivity
- Gesture area â€“ Enables simple, intuitive gestures for navigation
- Full QWERTY keyboard
- High-performance, desktop-class Web browser
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g
- Integrated GPS
- Robust messaging support (combining IM, SMS and MMS capabilities)
- E-mail, including EAS (for access to corporate Microsoft Exchange servers) and personal e-mail support (Google Gmailâ„¢ push, Yahoo!Â®, POP3, IMAP)
- VZ NavigatorSM â€“ Allows customers to get audible turn-by-turn directions to more than 15 million points of interest and share the directions with others
- USB mass storage mode
- Proximity sensor â€“ Automatically disables the touch screen and turns off the display when consumers put their phones to their ears
- Light sensor â€“ Reduces power usage by dimming the display if the ambient light is dark
- Accelerometer â€“ Automatically orients Web pages and photos
- Ringer switch â€“ Easily silences the device with one touch
- Removable, rechargeable battery
- Multimedia options, including pictures, video playback and music as well as a camera with LED flash and a standard 3.5 mm headset jack
- BluetoothÂ® 2.1 + EDR with A2DP stereo Bluetooth support
- Charger/microUSB connector with USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
Additional Palm Pre Plus Specs
- 3.0 megapixel camera with LED flash and extended depth of field
- Slide-out QWERTY keyboard
- Dimensions: 2.35″ x 3.96″ x 0.67″
- Weight: 4.89 ounces
Additional Palm Pixi Plus Specs
- 2.0 megapixel camera with LED flash
- Fixed QWERTY keyboard
- Dimensions: 2.17″ x 4.37″ x 0.43″
- Weight: 3.26 ounces
- Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus will be available online at www.verizonwireless.com and in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores beginning Jan. 25.Â Pricing will be announced closer to launch.
- 3G mobile hotspot is a separately-purchased feature added to a voice and data plan.
- For additional information on Verizon Wireless products and services, visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or go to www.verizonwireless.com.
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About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless voice and 3G data network, serving 89 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 85,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
About Palm, Inc.
Palm, Inc. creates intuitive and powerful mobile experiences that enable consumers and businesses to connect to their information in more useful and usable ways. The company’s groundbreaking Palm webOSâ„¢ platform, designed exclusively for mobile application, introduces true multitasking and Palm Synergyâ„¢, which brings your information from the many places it resides into a single, more comprehensive view of your life.
Palm products are sold through select Internet, retail, reseller and wireless operator channels, and at the Palm online store (www.palm.com/store).
More information about Palm, Inc. is available at www.palm.com.