by Al Sacco

Palm: Pre Touchstone Wireless Charger and Battery Cover to be Sold Together

Apr 02, 20092 mins
MobileSmall and Medium Business

One of the few accessories Palm has announced for its as-of-yet unreleased Pre smartphone is the Touchstone wireless power dock, which uses inductive technology to charge the Pre and eliminate the need to physically connect the two units. No pricing or release-date specifics are currently available for the Pre or Touchstone, yet some recent reports suggested that Touchstone will be sold separately than the associated replacement Pre battery cover that’s required for cable-free charging. But according to Palm, that’s just not true.

Hands-On With the Palm Touchstone at CES
Hands-On With the Palm Touchstone at CES

I spoke with a number of Palm representatives, as well as Sprint folks at the carrier’s VIP lounge at CTIA today. Sprint will be the exclusive Pre provider when it’s launched. Palm says it plans to release the device during the second half of 2009.

And Palm informed me that the Touchstone will indeed be packaged along with its “special” battery cover.

So let’s just put that little ol’ rumor to bed right now. Nite.

The confusion apparently arose from some confusing language on the Touchstone page of Palm’s online shop:

“Requires Palm Pre Touchstone back cover, sold separately. Wall charger provided with Pre is also required for use.”

The message isn’t exactly clear, but I believe Palm’s stating that any random Pre won’t function along with the Touchstone. A specific battery cover is required. One more line clarifying that the Touchstone and battery cover are packaged together certainly couldn’t hurt, though. Make it happen, Palm, if for no other reason than to avoid further confusion in the future

The news is a relief for me. Palm’s already facing an uphill battle to win the hearts and minds of smartphone users across the world with the Pre and its shiny, new webOS. Packaging the Touchstone and its battery cover separately would’ve been a mistake, regardless of the price of each product.

For more on the Touchstone, read “Touchstone Wireless Charger: (Almost) Everything You Need to Know.” Also, check out my hands on–sort of–first impressions of the Pre from CES 2009.