One of the most anticipated smartphones scheduled to launch this year is the Palm Pre, which was first announced at CES in January. Sprint officially announced the launch date and features of the Palm Pre today. The launch date nationwide will be on June 6. The Pre will sell for $199.99 after a new two-year Sprint service agreement and a $100 mail-in rebate.
Sprint claims that the Pre is the perfect handset for the user who juggles both a busy home and work life. The Pre allows users to get the business features and entertainment features that typically require different handsets in one device.
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said, "The argument that you need one phone for work and another phone for play, or that you have to make compromises between business and lifestyle productivity, is over,” said Dan Hesse, president and CEO of Sprint. “With Pre, compromises of the past are history."
Sprint reports that the Pre is optimized for use with its Everything plan offering unlimited voice, data, and text messaging on the device. Among the key features Palm Synergy of the Pre are linked contacts, layered calendars, and combined messaging.
Linked contacts allow you have access to contacts from multiple sources in one place. Contacts from Outlook, Google, and Facebook can be put into the device and the phone will recognize that contacts from three different places are all the same person and combine them.
Layered calendars allows you to see work and personal calendars in one look and users can remove layers they don’t want to see. Combined messaging allows viewing all chats with the same person in a chat-style view even if it starts in IM and then a reply is sent via a text message. Pre also searches the device and the Internet at the same time.
Palm President and CEO Ed Colligan said, "Pre is truly a new phone for a new web-centric age. We’re a mobile society, and we want our people, calendars, and information to move with us. With Pre’s exquisite design and the unique webOS software, running on Sprint’s fast broadband network, we’re changing the perception of what a wireless phone can be."
Some of the Palm accessories have already been leaked online including the Touchstone charging dock. The Pre will ship with a normal power cord that you plug in. The Touchstone accessory will give users a special back plate and a Touchstone charger that charges the Pre by simply setting it on the charge pad. The complete Touchstone kit will sell for $69.99 and will be available on June 6. Palm will also sell the accessories separately with the Touchstone dock selling for $49.99 and the Touchstone back cover for $19.99.
quote: Palm Pre is scheduled to be available first in the United States exclusively from Sprint in the first half of 2009, and will be followed by a world-ready UMTS version for other regions. Sprint's pricing for the phone has not yet been determined.