Palm could shift as many as 1.5 million Pre smartphones this year, an analyst has suggested.

"The new Pre smartphone clearly stole the show at CES", said Citi analyst Jim Suva, upgrading the stock's rating from "sell" to "hold", on the strength of the launch.

"We're impressed on multiple fronts: good form factor with solid fit and finish and multiple thoughtful touches; very impressive innovative user interface with great navigation; and a highly orchestrated launch that was not compromised by product leaks".

What is not known yet, either in the US where the device is confirmed for launch, or in the UK where we're promised more news in February is how much Palm will charge for, and therefore make, on the Pre.

"While reaction was overwhelmingly positive (and rightfully so in our view), very little was asked or offered on Palm's pricing strategy for the Pre", Suva says, estimating the phone will sell for between $199 and $249 on a Sprint contract.