We know damn well that the Palm’s got some new devices up their sleeves — and come February 9th, we’ll probably know all there is to know about’em. We can take educated guesses as to what those devices will be — but right now, just about the only thing we know for sure is that they’re working on a webOS tablet.
This morning, a few eagle-eyed rumormill lurkers have spotted the tiniest hint of a new, non-tablet device: a 4G/LTE device built for Verizon.
After a few minutes of digging around on a mostly unknown Verizon test subdomain, a couple of gadget lovers stumbled across two entries in that subdomain’s device list that didn’t show up on the primary site:
- Palm Voice Test
- Palm LTE Voice
The bad news: Outside of that passing mention of “LTE” in the second item, there wasn’t much of anything to glean, detail-wise. The listings were essentially clones of the Palm Pre Plus listing, down to the prices. But don’t write it off just yet, folks: the listings both had brand new ID numbers associated with them, indicating that these were added to the system intentionally.
A handful of folks have taken to call this new mystery device the “Palm Voice”, given the appearance of that word in both listings. Based on a quick chat with an old Verizon source, however, I don’t believe that to be the name.
Here’s what likely happened, according to our source: Right now, Verizon’s busy testing as many devices on their new LTE network as they can. Before testing a device, they add it to the database (or, as in this case, copy a similar device’s database profile to act as a placeholder) so that it shows up in the intranet, allowing them to more easily record and share tests. There are two checkboxes to click when adding a new device: one that keeps it off the customer-facing-site, and one that keeps it off any sub-domains (that way they’re able to fine tune the device’s page on the hidden sub-domains before pushing it public.) Verizon tester clones a few Palm device profiles to act as a shell for this new device, botches a few checkboxes, and bam — it’s on the subdomain.
Now, as for the name: based on what our source is telling us, it seems unlikely that the device’s name is the “Palm Voice”. Rather, the testers involved were primarily testing this new device’s voice (read: calling) performance over 3G (“Palm Voice Test”) and over LTE (“Palm LTE Voice”).
Regardless of what it’s called, however, the idea of a webOS-powered device on Verizon’s 4G network gets me a bit hot around the collar.