Palm launched the Pre and its webOS as a platform, as well as a smartphone, so it's hardly surprising to hear that the company has plans for a second model, although what might raise eyebrows is that it's due as early as autumn.

One of TechCrunch's "better sources" has said Palm - bearing in mind a launch date for the Pre is still to be confirmed - is already prepping a follow-up to the new handset. From the blog:

"One of our better sources indicated to us that Palm is 'very far along' on a second Pre-like device and currently has plans to put it on the market in the late part of 2009, possibly as early as the Fall".

As this timescale would be too soon for a second gen device, TechCrunch speculates that this second - apparently smaller - model will be "addressing a different part of the market".

Apple is rumoured to be planning an "iPhone Lite" for launch, possibly on the Verizon network in the States, so if both these rumoured models are the real deal, it could be an interesting head-to-head sales battle.

UPDATE: A source in touch with BGR has provided an ultra-blurry pic that suggests the webOS-based Mini-Pre could be Centro-esque.

UPDATE 2: Engadget now has more details on the story with a name - the Palm Eos.