Palm and Sprint ended months of speculation on May 12 by announcing the upcoming release of Palm Pre, the latest entry into the “iPhone killer” market. The long awaited release date comes with a couple of surprises; first, it is a Saturday, June 6, and secondly, it will be available from a variety of retail streams including Sprint online, Sprint stores, Best Buy mobile stores, and select Radio Shack and Wal-Mart locations.
The phone will retail for $199.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate with a two year service contract from Sprint, the exclusive service provider. The Prattville Best Buy store is expected to carry the Pre and will be granting the rebate as an immediate credit without the need to mail it in, according to Best Buy’s national customer service line.
The Pre (it rhymes with “free”) is a vertical sliding smartphone that features a full qwerty keyboard and is based on a completely new operating system that Palm calls webOS. It sports a 3.1” touch screen, GPS, a 3.0MP camera, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support. The device utilizes a principle called Synergy to combine the various information locations that many tech users today juggle. For instance, it can take the calendar and contact information that you have stored on Google, Facebook, and Outlook and display that information in a single combined view.
The Pre also attempts to highlight the missing features of the iPhone by incorporating cut, copy, and paste out of the box as well as the ability to multitask, or run processes in the background. The OS uses a card analogy; applications appear as cards that can be shuffled back and forth with a flick of the finger.
Developers had access to tools that have allowed them to build applications for the OS for about two months. Several examples have already leaked out including applications for Facebook, Pandora Radio, Google Maps, and Classic, an application that allows hard core Palm users to use the hundreds of existing PalmOS applications.
Article by Keith George
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