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UMTS Palm Pre displayed at GSMA but not much else

Palm was on site at GSMA Mobile World Congress 2009, but didn't make any major announcements. The company did, however, show off a UMTS version of the smartphone.

Bonnie Cha Former Editor
Bonnie Cha was a former chief correspondent for CNET Crave, covering every kind of tech toy imaginable (with a special obsession for robots and Star Wars-related stuff). When she's not scoping out stories, you can find her checking out live music or surfing in the chilly waters of Northern California.
Bonnie Cha
2 min read
Palm Pre
Palm showed off its UMTS version of the Palm Pre. Bonnie Cha/CNET Networks

Once again, Palm had a presence at GMSA Mobile World Congress 2009, but unlike last year, the company's pavilion was buzzing with visitors and journalists from around the world trying to get a glimpse at...what else? The Palm Pre.

Disappointingly, Palm didn't make any major announcements at the show, namely a GSM version of the smartphone, but did have a bit of news. The company has joined Adobe's Open Screen Project and promised to bring Flash 10 Player to its Web OS devices by the end of the year. We asked Palm if it would be included on the Pre, and, unfortunately, it will not since the Pre is slated for release during the first half of 2009 and Flash 10 won't be available until the second half.

During my meeting with Palm, I asked about whether we'd see a GSM version of the Pre in the United States. Not surprisingly, the representatives skirted around the question, saying that there's been a lot of interest and they are meeting a number carriers and other interested parties. The company did show a UMTS model of the smartphone at GSMA (pictured above), which pretty much indicates that there will a GSM version. PreCommunity even got a photo and video of the Pre with a Vodafone SIM card in it. (By the way, it was a little ridiculous that Palm wouldn't even let anyone take photos or touch the device without having a company representative have at least one hand on the phone. I mean, really?)

I don't doubt that there will be a GSM Palm Pre; the bigger questions are when and with which carrier. Will AT&T pick it up, even though it already has the iPhone? Is T-Mobile a good fit for the Pre? Or will Palm offer it unlocked? Any thoughts on this?