Mobility

Wireless Charger Boosts Palm Pre Buzz

Michelle Maisto covers mobile devices, Android and Apple for eWEEK and is also a food writer.

Follow on: Google +

Inductive charging could give the Pre the geek-cred it needs to take on the iPhone

Palm’s wireless “Touchstone” charger, is adding to the excitement around the launch of the Palm Pre phone – now anticipated for 30 April.

The April date was reportedly Twittered to Logicomm CEO Jim Van by someone at Sprint, according to a report on Gadgetell. Releasing the phone at the end of April would bring it ahead of the early June date expected to coincide with the new Apple iPhones.

palmpretouchstone.jpg

The thinking goes, if the Palm Pre release date were still nearly two months away — instead of two weeks — Sprint wouldn’t be putting employees in lockdown mode for May, as well as drawing new attention to the Touchstone.
For example, a Palm rep offering a demo of the device recently “let slip” that the Touchstone inductive charging dock will be the first product in a full lineup of Touchstone wireless products from Palm.

The little nugget of a charger won’t be packaged with the Pre, but sold separately. Touchstone plugs into an electrical outlet, and the Palm Pre, wearing a replacement back cover, magnetically attaches to the Touchstone and charges through induction—there are no cables, there is nothing to click into, and incoming calls can be accepted over the speakerphone.

Touchstone is one more way Palm is adding appeal to the device it hopes will be its iPhone killer. It has yet to release pricing information for the Palm Pre or the Touchstone. However, Gadgetell reports that another tweet from Van—Twitter clearly being the new rumour mill—says it will be $299 in the US, with a two-year contract from Sprint.

On the service side, Sprint will offer individual, family and business plans. More pricing information is available here.