This week, we may have moved a step closer to learning the answer than many have been asking for months: when will the Palm Pre be released?
Palm announced this model in January, but so far has only promised that it will debut in the first half of the year, and won’t say anything more specific about timing.
The Pre will be launched in the U.S. exclusively by Sprint — who also won’t say anything definite about a release date — but this carrier informed the employees who work in its retail stores that they will be granted no vacation time in the month of May.
Palm’s next smartphone is expected to be the biggest thing to happen to Sprint this year, so the vacation blackout is almost certainly part of the preparations for the launch of this product.
To make things a bit more specific, this carrier supposedly is planning to release the Pre on May 17.
Sprint is also preparing for a worst case scenario if there are problems getting enough inventory for the May launch. If it has to miss the first release date, the Pre will debut on June 29, putting it just under the self-imposed deadline.
Training Has Begun
In another sign that the Palm Pre will hit shelves soon, the Sprint retail employees who will be responsible for selling it to the general public have begun being trained on this device and the new webOS.
According to an email from this carrier, the goal of this is to “get them excited and ready to help our customers.”
An Overview of the Palm Pre
The Palm Pre will be the first device to use Palm’s just-announced webOS. This will be a multi-tasking operating system able to wirelessly synchronize a wide variety of data with online services like Google and Facebook.
The Pre itself will feature a sliding keyboard as well as a multi-touch-capable 3.1-inch display. This device will also be equipped with 8 GB of on-board storage, Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth 2.1, and a 3.0 megapixel camera with LED flash.
As mentioned earlier, in the U.S. the Pre will be available first from Sprint, who will add its mobile broadband service EV-DO Rev. A. The GSM version for Europe and Latin America will have the 3G standard HSDPA.