Palm has finally put a stop to the teasing and announced a definite launch date for their much-awaited Pre. According to the press release from Sprint, the handset will go on sale Saturday of June 6th - just two short days before Apple is expected to make its own announcement about the newest iteration of the iPhone at the WWDC.
Also listed are the stores carrying the first webOS handset. Far from being a Sprint Store exclusive, it will also be available from Best Buy, Radio Shack and Wal-Mart beginning at launch day. Price for the touchscreen slider is pegged at $199.99, pending a $100 mail-in rebate. Buyers will need to sign up for a two-year tie-in with Sprint, either with the “Everything Data plan” (available in $70 and $90 contracts) or the “Business Essentials with Messaging and Data plan” ($70 and up).
On a related note, Reuters is reporting that a limited number of Palm Pre devices will be available during the roll out, as a direct result of a short supply of the phone's custom display. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse himself confirmed the shortage, even mentioning that they won't advertise the handset heavily between June and August because the company isn't going to be able to keep up with the demand.
According to some unofficial sources, only 200,000 units are currently in stock and that is for all regions that the phone will launch in during the third quarter. Those who fail to get a Palm Pre during the first three months can expect to score one when Christmas season shipments come in (as expected) during the latter part of the year.
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