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Palm Pre may beat iPhone with May ship date

updated 10:45 pm EDT, Sun April 12, 2009

Palm Pre Shipping May Leak

Palm and Sprint are poised to undercut Apple by launching the Pre a month or more earlier, as long as a leak of internal Sprint communications proves accurate. According to PhoneNews, the carrier has ordered a rare mid-year vacation freeze for May that touches on staff at retail and other public-facing positions, similar to AT&T's policies during its iPhone releases. The move would let Palm start shipping Pre units to Sprint stores late this month with the aim of a May 17th launch if enough phones are in stock across the US.

As a contingency, Sprint would push the launch back to June 29th -- symbolically, the 2-year anniversary of the iPhone's launch -- if there isn't enough supply for the Pre for the mid-May introduction.

The schedule corroborates a rumor that Sprint employees will start training in April and that Palm will successfully meet its well-known goal of launching the Pre ahead of the next iPhone. Struggling financially, the smartphone creator will virtually depend on the success of the full-touchscreen device to remain in business and is eager to avoid having its early publicity undermined by a new iPhone release. The Pre is one of the few smartphones seeing a climb in demand for the next few months.

by MacNN Staff



  1. pairof9s

    Joined: Dec 1969



    ...not a good idea!

    History is filled with tragic stories of products launched before they're ready. You can doom a product more by a bad launch than you can a late launch (Vista being the exception...both late & unfinished). As the saying goes, "you only get one chance to make a first impression."

    Never let marketing dictate to engineering in technology!

  1. nhmlco

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple Preannouncement

    All Apple has to do is hold a press conference introducing the latest version of the iPhone BEFORE the Pre actually ships, and Palm shipping the Pre early simply won't matter.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969



    They may "beat the iPhone" with their ship date?

    Ummm... hello. The iPhone is ALREADY shipping if nobody has noticed. Yes, I know, they are talking about the expected new model in June, but still: Apple already has a mature product out there for ages, dear friends at Palm and Spring.

    You ain't beating nobody, even if you release today.

  1. loudpedal

    Joined: Dec 1969


    When it's ready

    Who cares? Apple should release the refreshed iPhone when it's ready and no sooner.

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969



    While I'm glad to see a product with its own merits and and believe the Pre can offer some competition, I don't think Apple is "worried" nor do I think they should be. I doubt Apple will change anything because of the Pre.

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: when it's ready

    Besides "when it's ready " they should also wait until they've got an update worthy of being called an update. Coming out with a new iPhone that, say, is exactly the same as the current gen but with a 3.1 mp camera is not going to wow the crowd. Esp. since they can't really tour a new os as a feature, since current iPhones have that too.

    Oh, and while I'm sure some of the "fans" will leap at a new iPhone with rumored "double-speed" data, most will hold off as they still aren't getting decent 3g speed.

  1. bearcatrp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Can't wait for..

    this to launch as I will get this phone. Now if apple would have launched the iPhone on other carriers besides crappy AT&T, I might of grabbed one. If the pre does do everything they say it will, this phone will give apple a run for its money.

  1. UberFu

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "full-touchscreen device"
    Hate to break this to MacNN or whom ever declared full-touchscreen device - but Apple's iPhone is a full-touchscreen device. Palm Pre is a Partial Touchscreen device - seeing as how it has a slide out keyboard - non-touchscreen.

    @bearcatrp - who are we comparing AT&T to - Verizon? Please the most locked down and non-consumer friendly Phone company in the US.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: ..

    Hate to break this to MacNN or whom ever declared full-touchscreen device - but Apple's iPhone is a full-touchscreen device.

    Depends on what you define 'full-touchscreen' to me. If its "the entire face is a screen", then the Pre qualifies.

    You seem to think the definition is "Everything is done via the screen". And if that's your definition, then the iPhone does NOT qualify, as it has a button on the bottom, and a button on the top edge that perform actions that you cannot do via the screen.

    So it isn't 'full-touchscreen' either.

  1. carloblackmore

    Joined: Dec 1969


    a month to swim or sink

    In May, Palm needs to deliver a Pre that leaves us salivating for the possibilities of the future and keeps us away from the iPhone that everyone knows is coming a month later. The original iPhone was revolutionary enough to do that. The current Pre is not revolutionary/dreamy enough, unless somehow Palm has a secret "one more thing" to shock us with they day that they launch the Pre.

    That extra month before the iPhone 3.0 launch could be a month of people falling in love with the Pre or a month for Apple to tweak the software and marketing of the iPhone against the Pre.

    That is the brilliance of the iPhone (and also the Pre), it allows Apple to make quick and significant changes just through a software update long after the device has left the factory. It sucks being Palm, because they have no choice but to go on stage first and give Apple the benefit of one-upping them.

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