D-Day launch for Pre, D-Day for Palm

The Pre, the latest smartphone from Palm, will go on sale in the US via the Sprint mobile network for around $200 on 6 June.

The Pre, the latest smartphone from Palm, will go on sale in the US via the Sprint mobile network for around $200 on 6 June.

It is a move that the firm hopes will rescue it from a two-year sales decline that has seen it drop out of the top eight phone makers.

A Palm UK spokesman said the firm was not sure yet whether the Pre would launch in Europe. "I expect some people will be buying them in the States and trying to use them on local networks," he said.

The Pre is up against tough competition from iPhone, version 3 of which is expected to launch next week, and the Nokia N97, which launches this month.

The Pre has a touch screen, a slide-out qwerty keyboard and a new operating system, webOS, that makes connecting to the net a snap to run multiple applications like Twitter and Facebook.

But the key to smartphone success is applications. Palm has to persuade software developers that they will make more money writing for webOS than for the iPhone, Symbian, Android, BlackBerry, or Windows Mobile platforms.

In anticipation, Palm is planning an App Catalog for the Pre. This will be modelled on Apple's App Store for the iPhone, which Nokia emulated with its Ovi store.

Palm Pre

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