With a launch date for Palm’s much anticipated Pre still to be announced along comes news that Palm is preparing a second Pre-like handset for release this year.

The smaller and slimmer device will be pitched at a different part of the smartphone market, according to Techcrunch.

Palm is said to be "very far along" on its second Pre-like handset, which will run the new WebOS operating system.

Spec details – such as whether it will have a touchscreen keyboard – are unknown.

Equally unclear is what effect a second device, launched so soon after the Pre, will have on the flagship smartphone’s sales.

Elsewhere, more information has been emerging on the Pre this week, with iSuppli estimating that the Palm smartphone costs around USD $170 to make.

The calculation is based on the device’s hardware and manufacturing costs using second-quarter component and assembly pricing.

The breakdown of the USD $170.02 consists of a hardware cost of USD $137.83, manufacturing and basic test costs of USD $9.58, and software and licensing costs of USD $22.61.

The analysis does not include shipping, logistics, marketing and other channel costs.

iSuppli expects Palm will try to sell the Pre to wireless carrier Sprint Nextel Corp for about USD $300.

But the analysts said the actual cost to consumers will be around USD $200 due to an expected carrier subsidy.

Just when the Pre will be released is still largely a mystery, although the latest projection is 7th June.

An interesting choice, if correct, as this is the day before Apple holds its World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC).

And that is where the next generation iPhone is widely believed to be set for release.

Subscribe to our Newsletter