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Palm Pre To Launch First Week Of June: Report

Speculation had pointed to an announcement in the Wall Street Journal from Palm tomorrow (May 19) about when the Pre would become available. Looks like the New York Times beat the WSJ to the punch. It says the "first week of June" is when the Pre will hit the market.
Speculation had pointed to an announcement in the Wall Street Journal from Palm tomorrow (May 19) about when the Pre would become available. Looks like the New York Times beat the WSJ to the punch. It says the "first week of June" is when the Pre will hit the market.The New York Times recently ran a piece on the smartphones that are primed to launch during the summer months. A lot of companies are betting big on their summer line-up, that's for sure. No company is betting bigger than Palm.

The NYTimes reports, "The season's most compelling phone drama will start the first week in June, when Sprint will begin selling the Palm Pre, people briefed on the company's plans said."

This jives with all that we've heard about the Pre's launch so far. The launch lunch, the training sessions, the timing with respect to Apple's WWDC, etc., are all pointing to a launch on or near June 5. That is smack in the middle of the "first week in June."

Will it happen? I say it is highly likely. Palm and Sprint have said all along that the device will be available by the end of the first half. June 30 would be the last possible day the two companies could launch the device to make that self-imposed deadline. I think it would be amazingly poor planning to Sprint and Palm to make the device available after the WWDC keynote, where a new iPhone is expected to be announced.

Charles Wolf, a cellphone industry analyst with Needham & Company, told the NYTimes, "[The Pre] is make or break for Palm. It's not make or break for Sprint, but clearly Sprint is in trouble, too, and needs a hit."

Palm countered Wolf's viewpoint, and re-iterated that the Pre is not the only device that will use Palm's webOS. Palm spokesperson Lynn Fox said, "The Pre isn't a bet-the-company device."

It may not be, but Palm needs the Pre to be successful. Stay tuned, as we're likely to learn more from tomorrow's WSJ.

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