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The Palm Pre: $549 Off Contract

A report today on Engadget claims that Sprint employees are telling customers that if they want the Pre without a 24 month contract attached, they’ll be forking out $549.

Sprint announced earlier in the week that the Pre will launch on Saturday, June 6 - just a couple of days before Apple’s WWDC is scheduled to start - with a price tag of just $199. However, that $199 is the price after a hundred dollar mail-in rebate and lets be honest, almost everyone hates the hassle that comes with mail-in rebates.

Come June 6 the Pre will be available nationwide in Sprint stores, Best Buy, Radio Shack, selected Wal-Mart locations and online at Sprint.com. Does $549 seem like a lot to? Remember that’s just off contract, not unlocked. You’ll still be tethered to Sprint, but you’ll be commitment free. Is anyone tempted yet?