Palm to launch iPhone competitor this week?

Is Palm going to launch an iPhone-killer this Thursday? According to CrunchGear it could be, in the form of a touchscreen phone with a full Qwerty keyboard

According to a rumour started by CrunchGear yesterday, Palm is set to launch a potential iPhone competitor this Thursday. The new Palm phone will apparently run on the company's new operating system, Nova, which is based on Linux.

In addition to a new OS, the as-yet-unnamed Palm phone is also rumoured to feature a touchscreen and a slide-out Qwerty keypad. Little else is known about the incoming Palm -- we don't expect it'll look much like the Z22, pictured -- but we're very curious indeed.

Interestingly, CrunchGear also hints at the device being manufactured by HTC, which makes the T-Mobile G1, as well as its own-brand HTC devices, so we might see something rather interesting -- fingers crossed.

While the likes of Apple, BlackBerry, Google and Nokia have been making headlines over the past year, Palm has seen its brand rapidly lose traction with the masses. Palm needs to make a decent phone before it loses any more market share.

Like Motorola, Palm faces a tough year ahead and is desperately in need of a fresh start. But if this new direction fails, we could see the once-beloved Palm do a Whittards -- or even worse, a Woolworths.