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Palm Pre Targeted to Hit Sprint Inventory March 15

Since the unveiling of the Palm Pre at CES, people have been dying to get their hands on the real thing, but there's no real word on a specific launch date aside from “mid-year.”

According to the lads over at Boy Genius Report, we can expect to see the Palm Pre in stores in mid-March, which will certainly put the Pre ahead of the launch of the rumored new iPhone "2,1".

BGR cites an internal memo from Sprint, the official carrier for Palm Pre, which includes a time sheet for when Sprint will be phasing out older devices. The sheet shows a target in-stock date of 3/15 for the Pre, detailing that it also will be replacing the Palm 755P which has a projected EOL in late May.  BGR speculates that while it may be in stock by March, the company will likely be trying to shift the left over 755P stock and might not launch the Pre until May or June.

While that’s more than likely the case, we’re betting we’ll see the Pre before we see the next iPhone. Palm could well get the crowd that are anxious to get the latest touchscreen phone but can’t wait for Apple to announce the next iPhone. Time will tell. No official word from Palm or Sprint. We’ll keep you posted.

For now, check out our initial coverage of the Palm Pre from CES 2009.

  • deredita
    I hope they release it on March 15th, I have an old Verizon phone that is on its last leg. I plan on switching from Verizon to Sprint, as the Sprint plans are cheaper, they offer better pricing with my corporate discount than Verizon offers, and this phone appears to be a better smartphone than anything Verizon currently offers.

    After seeing my brother and sister's Blackberry Storm, I am not interested in it, as it is just too sluggish for my tastes. I have played extensively with the Samsung Omnia, and was disappointed. The Verizon version of the HTC Touch Pro is excruciatingly sluggish compared to the AT&T version, which has nearly 100MB more ram.
    There is just nothing that great available from Verizon in terms of smartphones. AT&T has the most, T-mobile has the G1 (Google phone), and now Sprint has the Palm Pre. It appears that very phone Verizon has is purposely crippled in terms of hardware from Verizon.
  • HD Boy
    Jeez, deredita: you didn't even mention the iPhone -- the device everyone is trying to copy. It's not perfect, but it has proven to be the very best cell phone I've ever owned. Nothing comes close because it's a very good phone, e-mail, calendar, Web and iPod device that is compatible with either the Mac or Windows.

    After all, there is a very good reason why all these companies are rushing to try and duplicate the iPhone. It is a great device.

    While Apple encountered some early problems syncing the iPhone mail and calendar with the computer, things are working pretty smoothly now because Apple has quickly responded to bugs and also introduced steady improvements. The iPhone's ground-breaking touch screen operating system is a joy to use and 18,000 apps make it a wonderfully versatile electronic device. I switched to iPhone/AT&T after eight frustrating years as a Sprint customer, and have never regretted the decision -- not even for a minute.

    You can keep scraping the bottom of the barrel to try out the latest copycat cell phones that will remain a couple of years behind the iPhone. But life is too short and the fact of the matter is that most of the companies you mentioned lack the vision or resources to create a great touchscreen device -- largely because most don't do software very well. And it is the integration of hardware and software that is at the heart of the iPhone's success.

    Apple gets this. By all appearances, other cell phone manufacturers (and perhaps carriers) may never learn this lesson. Even if they did, the executives would still have to hire the right engineering and interface-design talent and then create a collaborative work culture that allows a visionary leader to bring the people and technologies together to create just the right products.

    As much a I like Palm, just watch as the company and these other vendors try to replicate the iTunes/iPhone/iPod ecosystem for dozens of competing phone products with so many screen sizes and interfaces. It just isn't going to happen for most of them. And so, which one of the phone and service vendors are you going to support with your hard-earned money? The fact is that many of these new, me-too cell phones (and perhaps a carrier or two) are going to fail in the marketplace.

    Palm may well have the best talent assembled to challenge Apple (it has hired many former Apple engineers), but it remains to be seen whether the company has the money to fully support the new Pre product and build out an all-new infrastructure in time to save the foundering firm. Even if Palm does accomplish this, the idea of integrating cell phone, music, HDTV, movies and computing into one well-conceived ecosystem with many compatible, portable devices is a powerful attraction that only Apple seems capable of achieving with products that have technical excellence and that great human interface. Wait to you see what's coming to the den from Apple -- and how the iPhone/iPod integrates into that system as well as your home computer network!

    Obviously, the AT&T cellular network has detractors (and I certainly won't defend it if the coverage in your home area just doesn't meet your needs). However, after some initial problems, I have found that AT&T coverage in the Sacramento area already has been improved more quickly than I expected. the fact is that AT&T does appear to be upgrading towers and filling out their 3G network. Also, AT&T has aggressively expanded its free Wi-Fi hot spot network (for customers) to over 20,000 public locations. Since the iPhone has Wi-Fi, this is a significant perq that other carriers cannot easily match. (In the future, all successful cell phones will have WiFi or risk failure in the marketplace -- it's a must have feature). Also, AT&T responds to service complaints and the engineering department actually follows up with callbacks, information and sometimes -- news of improvements. These are calls that Sprint never did once in my eight years as a customer -- the complaint desk was a comical black hole.

    Certainly the AT&T network has coverage and capacity problems in many areas, but in some areas, it simply is much better than some people would have you believe. Believe me -- Sprint is not all it's cracked up to be. As for service costs, we happily discovered that we were eligible for a corporate discount from AT&T through my wife's employer. This cut $30 per month off cellular bill.

    For my part, I've learned to work around occasional limitations in the AT&T network in exchange for access to a far better portable computing and communications device. Besides, the iPhone eventually will make it to another U.S. carrier. We just don't know when...

    So, do look at the big picture and then consider the iPhone...