Beleaguered smartphone-maker Palm is reportedly set to launch the first device based on its long-awaited new ‘Nova’ operating system this week. According to a CrunchGear report, which cites a ‘trusted’ source, the new smartphone will feature a QWERTY keyboard that will slide down under an iPhone-style touchscreen. It will reportedly be officially launched by Palm at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this Thursday.

The success of Nova – which has reportedly suffered several delays – is deemed crucial for Palm’s survival. The vendor has been losing market share to smartphone rivals such as Apple and Research In Motion (RIM), and last month reported its sixth straight quarterly loss. Losses in its fiscal second-quarter (ended 28 November) widened to US$506.2 million from US$8.85 million a year earlier, while revenue fell 45 percent to US$191.6 million. According to the Financial Times, Palm recently received a further US$100 million cash injection from its largest shareholder – the private equity firm Elevation Partners – to offset fears of falling sales at the company.