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Mini Palm Pre, Pre Centro in the works?

New rumors say that Palm's second Web OS device will be a mini Palm Pre.

Original photo: Newsday

This post was updated on 4/29, 10:43 a.m., PT, with new information about the Palm Eos.

There's been a ton of Palm Pre chatter this week, leading many people to think that its launch is imminent. However, the latest rumors don't revolve around the Pre but rather future Palm Web OS devices.

According to TechCrunch's Michael Arrington, he talked to one of his "better sources," who revealed that Palm is "very far along" on a second Pre-like device that will ship as early as the fall.

TechCrunch didn't have many specifics on the device, other than it would be smaller in size, leading some to think that it might forgo a physical keyboard. Also, it's not meant to be a next-generation Web OS smartphone. Instead, it will simply offer customers another option.

Also in the world of rumors, Boy Genius Report has a very blurry photo of what it is calling Palm's next Web OS smartphone--a device similar to the Palm Centro in design but obviously, running the new OS.

Engadget Mobile actually found a clearer picture of the smartphone, as well as a name and a list of specs. Dubbed the Palm Eos, the quad-band mobile will offer 4GB of storage, HSDPA support, Bluetooth 2.1, and a 2-megapixel camera, among other things. It also looks to be quick thin and light at 4.3 inches tall by 2.1 inches wide by 0.4 inch thick and weighs 3.5 ounces. Engadget seems to think that the Eos, also known by its codename Castle, is AT&T bound and will go for $349 before rebates. If the Eos is meant to be the successor to the Centro, which was initially offered at $99 with contract, we really hope that price is wrong or there are some serious carrier discounts.

While all these rumors seem thin on details, the idea of a mini Palm Pre or Pre Centro isn't completely off the mark. Palm said that the Pre was only the first in a family of devices. Plus, the whole idea behind the Palm Web OS was to create a platform that offered enough flexibility to meet the different needs and lifestyles of its customers. With that in place, it only makes sense that Palm brings new form factors to market. Also as TechCrunch and PhoneDog point out, this is definitely an area where Palm could get ahead of Apple.