Palm Inc said on Wednesday that Canada's Bell Mobility would start selling its upcoming Pre smartphone in the second half of this year.

The unit of BCE Inc is the second carrier to announce that it would sell Pre, which is seen as Palm's best bet to rejuvenate its business and recoup market share lost to rivals such as Apple Inc's iPhone.

Sprint Nextel Corp, the No. 3 U.S. mobile service, is planning to start selling Pre by the end of June.

UBS analyst Maynard Um said the news was reassuring for Palm investors, who had been anxious to hear of additional carrier distributors for Pre, besides Sprint.

However, Um said in a research note that a larger and more prominent carrier would have been preferable to Bell Mobility, which he said has about 4.75 million monthly bill-paying users.

Palm shares were down 13 cents or more than 1 percent at $11.38 on Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Sinead Carew, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)