Sprint announced the much anticipated Palm Pre is scheduled to launch June 6th on their network. The Pre is priced at $199 with a two year service agreement and a $100 mail in rebate. The Pre will be sold through Sprint retail channels, as well as at Best Buy, Radio Shack, and select Wal-Mart stores. “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 in a company statement. “With Pre, compromises of the past are history.”
Pre is Sprint’s answer to the wildly successful iPhone, which is exclusive to AT&T’s network. The early June launch is no accident. The timing is set to pre-empt the unveiling of the latest version of the iPhone, which many analysts believe will be introduced at Apple’s Developer Conference scheduled just days after the Pre launch. Sprint and Palm will have their work cut out for them. Both Apple and AT&T are debating on lowering the prices of the iPhone – both the device itself and its accompanying service plan. Such a move may undercut the Pre and take a little steam out of its debut. It’s a high stakes poker game, with much at risk. Palm seems unfazed. When asked if Palm would try to beat Apple on price, Palm CEO Ed Colligan told MediaMemo’s Peter Kafka, “Why would we do that when we have a significantly better product.” The battle begins June 6th.