It’s now just about May and there’s still been no official word from Palm when it comes to an official launch date or pricing for the Pre. All we know is what we’ve known for a long time — it’ll launch the first half of 2009; a window that is quickly closing. But a few pieces of new evidence today point to an actual specific date. And it’s a very intriguing one — June 7: The day before a likely Apple keynote address at its WWDC conference.
That is of course interesting because Apple could very well use that keynote to unveil the next version of the iPhone, just as it did last year for the iPhone 3G. A public launch of the Pre the day before could suck some of the wind out of Apple’s sails. But it’s also pretty risky, as it means Palm only has one day to convince everyone that its product is better then the latest version of the iPhone which is likely to have some substantial improvements. And no one knows for sure what all those improvements are — it could very well blow the Pre right out of the water, one day into its young life.
The June 7 date for the Pre comes from some supposed internal Sprint documents that name that date as one of two possible launch windows. Earlier rumors had the device appearing in May, but as I said, it’s a bit odd that we’re just about into May and have yet to hear a date or a price. A few people in the know that I’ve spoken to will only say that they’re sure it’s coming “very soon,” but don’t seem to know the exact date either. There are also rumors about the device getting ready to ship, and talk about a casting call for a Palm viral video set to air in June.
Apple and Palm have had an interesting relationship of late, to say the least. Obviously, there are the several former Apple employees who now work for Palm, including some former key Apple execs. Then, there was that whole thinly veiled threat Apple made to defend its IP, if pushed. Something which Palm responded to. And more recently, a partner at Elevation, which owns around 40% of Palm, said more or less that the Pre would kick the iPhone’s ass. If Palm really does release the Pre on June 7, expect tensions to rise even further.