Is this the face of Palm's upcoming 'Lowrider' low-end smart phone? At this stage we can't say, but it's certainly the case that it's made by Inventec, it's a Windows Mobile-powered device and it's a codenamed 'Mercury', as revealed by the manufacturer's Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filing.
Documents posted as part of Inventec's request for FCC certification reveal the dual-band (850/1900MHz) GSM/GPRS-equipped "PDA phone" also has Bluetooth. It may eventually have Wi-Fi too - the WLAN standard is mentioned in the manual, but there's no chapter on its usage as there is with Bluetooth and no Wi-Fi components were included in the FCC-mandated radio tests, which were conducted in November 2005.
Mercury isn't a dead-ringer for a Treo, but with its 2.8in, square-looking display and micro QWERTY keyboard it has the elements you'd expect from a Palm communicator. There's no camera, it seems.
That Mercury might be a prototype Palm arises from analyst claims made in November 2005 that Inventec would be working with the company on a future smart phone. So far, neither firm has confirmed it has a relationship with the other.
Might Inventec get the FCC to certify Mercury in order to allow Palm to then ship it with a modified, more Treo-like outer casing, leaving the internals is they are? ®