Sprint readies Palm Pre for June 6 launch

Chicago (IL) – Sprint has confirmed that the Palm Pre will be available nationwide on June 6. However, the $200 price tag is contingent upon a two-year service agreement and successful receipt of a $100 mail-in rebate.

The Palm Pre features a QWERTY keyboard that slides out only when needed, allowing users to easily type e-mails and text messages. The device also offers linked contacts, layered calendars and combined messaging. In addition, the new WebOS supports universal search and is capable of running multiple applications simultaneously.

“The Pre’s dynamic ‘activity cards’ approach to handling and navigating multiple applications is a great advance, but the core breakthrough is the integration of information across multiple applications on and off the phone,” spun Andy Castonguay, director of Mobile & Access Devices Research, Yankee Group. “With social networking and messaging being so important to consumers, the device’s new ‘Palm Synergy’ functionality – which gives Pre the ability to automatically pull friends’ contact details, messaging addresses and personal calendars from different applications online and on the phone – will greatly simplify people’s ability to communicate with their friends and colleagues the way they want.”

The Pre is slated to run on Sprint’s 3G network and will include the carrier’s “Everything Data” plan that supposedly offers savings of up to $1,430 over a two year period. Although the device is packaged with a charger, Sprint has introduced the $70 Touchstone dock – a new inductive charging solution designed exclusively for the Pre. With Touchstone, users can access the unit’s touch screen, watch videos and talk over the speakerphone.

Other notable features include:

  • Integrated GPS
  • 3.1-inch touch screen with 24-bit color 320×480 resolution
  • 3-megapixel camera with LED flash
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR with A2DP stereo Bluetooth support
  • 8GB internal memory

As TG Daily previously reported, Palm has high expectations for the Pre. The creator of the Palm Pilot and the company that is generally considered to have introduced the first true smartphones (Treo series in 2001, then introduced by Handspring, which was later acquired by Palm) needs a successful product after losing ground to the popular iPhone and Blackberry.

According to Tina Teng of iSuppli, the “similarity between the Pre and the iPhone clearly reveals the mark Palm is trying to hit.”