But the hope is Pre -- with touchscreen control, a slide- out keyboard and an operating system designed for trendy Web services such as social networks -- wows consumers enough to stem Palm's loss of market share and customer defections at Sprint.
Since the Pre made its debut at the Consumer Electronics show in January, excitement over the device has intensified. Even arch rivals Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc both say they want to sell it after Sprint's exclusivity runs out at the year's end.
If it takes off, Palm may even be an acquisition target.
"If you're buying (Palm shares) now, definitely what you're looking at is that they're going to have the most valuable asset in the industry. At some point, somebody will want to pay a premium for that," Pacific Crest's James Faucette said. "From a products perspective, the impact on the market is probably as important as iPhone."
Also see: Microsoft's motion control for Xbox 360