Palm is reportedly poised to revive its canceled Foleo companion as a webOS device, an investor note from Global Equities Research says. Analyst Trip Chowdhry claims to know that the design will largely be similar to the original concept on the outside but will use webOS and serve as a true, stand-alone computer. By using an ARM processor and a Qualcomm Gobi chipset for 3G, the Foleo remake would get 8-10 hours of battery life while still having Internet access most anywhere.
He implies significant changes underneath as three former Apple employees who worked on iPods are said responsible for the design. It would carry the same $399 asking price as for other 10-inch netbooks without 3G, but when it would ship and which carriers would support the 3G access aren't mentioned.
Palm had originally unveiled the Foleo in mid-2007 as an extender for PalmOS and Windows Mobile smartphones that would provide a bigger viewing area for Internet access while using the phone as the host for much of the data. It was canceled before it ever shipped as a combination of public criticism and the hiring of former Apple executive Jon Rubinstein led to a new focus at the company.
The smartphone maker hasn't commented on the truthfulness of the report, but several companies are actively developing or exploring the possibility of developing Android-based netbooks that would use the smartphone OS and ARM chips to produce a very inexpensive but still responsive entry-level PC.