Palm Pre Smartphone Launches June 6 for $199
The much-hyped, much-anticipated Palm Pre smartphone is coming June 6.
On May 19, Palm confirmed the June launch date on which the Palm Pre, its hoped-for Apple iPhone killer, will arrive on the Sprint network. Its selling price will be $199.99, after rebate and service agreement.
In addition to Sprint stores, the Pre will be available at Best Buy, Radio Shack and select Wal-Mart locations.
The $199 price tag, predicted by analysts, is thought to be essential to the Pre entering the market with as much impact and fanfare as a new iPhone (which may arrive with the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference, beginning June 8).
Click here for a closer look at the Palm Pre in this slide show.
In early May, an analyst with Collins Stewart wrote in a research note to investors: "If Sprint does not match or beat AT&T's subsidized iPhone price of $199, which translates to a subsidy in excess of $200, the Pre is DOA."
While Sprint has exclusive rights to the sell the Palm Pre through 2009, an analyst with Barclays Capital, Amir Rozwadowski, wrote in a May 18 research note that the Pre launch is on schedule, with "additional carrier launches" to follow in the third quarter.
In the second half of 2009, the Pre will also be available on the Bell Mobility 3G network in Canada.
Come June 6, Sprint will offer individual, family and business plans, with pricing starting at $69.99 per month for individual Everything Data 450, 900 and Unlimited plans. (More pricing information is available here.)
The Pre, which features a WebOS platform, slideout QWERTY keyboard and multitouch interface that have been written about extensively, will debut with a sleek, sold-separately charger called the Touchstone, which works through induction, much like an electric toothbrush charger.
Later this year, the Pre is expected to be followed by a Palm Pixie, or Eos, a less-robust, $99, candy-bar-style sibling to the Pre, though Palm has not confirmed the rumors.